People Photography

Say hello to the nice lady with the camera

As I was wandering about the River Walk in San Antonio, I would pass restaurants along the way, glancing down at the happy groups of friends and family as they enjoyed the pleasant weather and each other’s companies. The sight made me feel lonely.

Normally my love of travel would overcome these intermittent feelings of loneliness, but during this trip it seemed more persistent than in previous journeys. I thought about packing it in, heading for the hotel for a Margarita and dinner in my room and a movie on the tube, and started taking some pictures randomly, just to finish the roll.

I had the camera pointed at the river when one of the boats full of happy tourists was going past. I’m used to being ignored when taking photos, so was surprised when the boat driver started waving madly at me, and then called out to his customers, “Hey! Say Hello to the nice lady with the camera!”

I was even more surprised when the riders, obviously primed by an enjoyable ride with this particular guide, one and all starting waving madly at me, calling out hello. People around me stopped to look, most laughing and waving back, and I was startled into a smile, and starting waving with unencumbered hand as hard as I could. It was only when the boat was almost past that I remembered to take some photos, and this was the only one that came out halfway decent.


Odd how a simple connection between strangers can change your view of the world. Rather than head back to the hotel I kept exploring until my feet were too sore from unaccustomed walking on cement, and then had a nice dinner at a Mexican food place by the water, chatting with the waitress about the football game coming up the next week.

I look at this photo now, though, in light of the news in recent weeks, and I find myself picking out those in the boat most impacted by the events and decisions.

The older couple to the left, do you see them? There’s a new Medicare bill that will pay for half of their prescription drugs if they have them, but hopefully they don’t, because prescriptions in this country can run into the hundreds of dollars on pills you have to take monthly. Half of costs too much, still costs too much.

Luckily though, they have social security to help them. For the younger people in the boat, like the two young guys next to them, Social Security will most likely be broke by the time they need it, with money diverted to ‘investments’ or eaten away by a huge deficit.

Those kids in the front of the boat, close to me — cute aren’t they? Chances are they have inadequate health care coverage, go to schools that will close in the next few years, and be tested like prime beef and judged solely by the results. Actually, come to think of it, even prime beef isn’t tested as much as these kids.

Most of the smiling folks will suffer some effects of general pollution before they die. Those youngest may never have a chance to walk in undeveloped wilderness when they’re adult.

A few of these people are most likely unemployed and there’s a good chance their jobs are gone, permanently. Others will work longer hours for less money and not say anything because they have families to care for and can’t afford to get fired.

One might die in a war about greed and religion, interchangeable parts. Another might take their own life, in despair.

Where is that boat going so fast, and what will it find when it gets there?

I look at the photo and I think these things, and I feel sad and helpless. But then I look at the photo again, one more time, until I see it beyond the news.


When I look at the people sitting next to each other, and into their faces, and at the smiles, I see something beautiful. Look at the picture again: do you see what I see?

I see hope.

Photography Places

Archives: Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach in Oregon is one of my favorite places, and I have several photos in my archives from stays there. I’ll try to space them out because after seeing several, I’m sure there’s a sameness about them.

When we would visit we’d stay right on the water, and listen to the surf at night and smell that wonderful ocean smell coming in through the open windows. If it was cool, we’d light a fire, or sit in the jacuzzi built for two – candles lit, curtains open to the promise of beauty.

In the mornings we’d walk the beach, looking at tidal pools, and checking out the antics of the gulls. You can’t get tired of walking Cannon – it’s never the same from day to day.


Later in the day we’d have lunch in town and then walk about, visiting the galleries, enjoying a town designed for tourists that still managed to maintain its charm – no easy task, because tourists can be cultural termites.

After lunch, there was the cliffs surrounding the town to explore–magnificent! No matter how busy the season, there’s always places to get away from the crowds.

I learned to fly a kite at Cannon, but I still haven’t taken the large one out, my kite with the wing span almost as long as I’m tall. This Spring, she will fly.

Critters Photography

Archives: Eagle

It is a bitterly cold day today. I am restless, and want to get out of the house, go on a hike and admire the frozen streams and snow. Fly free, not hobble about. But I have duties today, including a chapter due.

Hobble. That’s a good word, eh? It means to ‘limp about’ and my ankle is still sore, though the bruising is going down. More, it also means ‘to hamper or impede’, and I am hampered from my hikes and find this frustrating.

Hard to believe that Ben Franklin didn’t want this fine bird to be our national symbol, but he didn’t and wanted the turkey instead. He found the eagle to be a deceitful creature, stealing food and bullying smaller birds. But I’ve seen eagles fish and care for their young, and I’ve definitely seen them soar – old Ben didn’t look closely enough to see the beauty amidst the avarice and aggression.

Or maybe it was his humor?

However, he’d probably be happy today: we may still have the Bald Eagle as symbol of the country, but there’s now a Turkey in the White House.