FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA 2014 – San Antonio College Library

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At dusk, the stars pick up where the fireflies leave off. Being a curious person with a love of science, the outdoors seems like the perfect playground. Throughout childhood, my history teacher father used to take us to state parks, national parks, monuments and historic sites to share with us his classroom lessons.

Those summer vacations sleeping under the stars gave me a true appreciation of nature and wildlife. I know it wasn’t the mosquitos or things that go bump in the night. Without cable TV or phone reception, you had to find other ways to be entertained. Hiking down game trails of paths less taken you stumble upon a world that is unspoiled by our society.

My father always had a camera in his hand. When he became ill, I used my photos to show him the places I have been where he could no longer travel. And I still stopped at historic sites. For him, it was the closest thing to being there. With my background in Photojournalism, photographing the outdoors seemed liked a natural progression. One day, the images I capture may be all that remains of areas that were once unspoiled.

MARK MAGAVERN : Artist’s Statement

Purple sunrises and clear star-filled nights lured me to West Texas. I have been wandering trails capturing nature’s beauty for 25 years. My camera captures what I see, a moment in time.

The smell of creosote bushes sweetens the air. At 6,000 feet, the air is thin but refreshing. Summer showers and cool breezes make summer days enjoyable. The rolling hills are awash in a purple sea of cenizo blooms predicting rain. As the sun sets, in reaction to the changing weather and cloud patterns, the sky changes hues by the second. If you don’t capture that image in that one moment, you won’t see it again. If you are not lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, you may never see it.

The Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park are classified as desert. Most visitors find little beauty in its harsh conditions. The beauty is there; you just have to look a little closer to find it. It might be a seedling sprouting through parched earth or a buzzard drying its wings before early morning flight.

Whether blistering drought or flash flooding, I try to capture the extremes of West Texas weather. Our world has many ecosystems and there is beauty within each of them.

In an age of digital manipulation with and “there’s an app for that,” there is no substitute for being there. Often it involves a little bit of luck. In the early morning hours one day, I parked my truck and hiked up to some ruins that came into view from the road around a bend. As I climbed, I noticed several buzzards roosting on an adobe wall. As I approached, they raised their wings. I shot several frames and worked my way closer. They slowly flew off one by one, but I got a keeper.

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