July 2020 SNAPSHOT Newsletter & Give Away Winner + Something Special

We just came off an amazing Give Away Promotion that brought several hundred new members to the J. Morris 683 Photography family, and first off want to announce that Annette was the winner of this Give Away, a 12" X 16" metal print titled "Soft Beginnings" valued at $175!  Congratulations Annette.  For everyone else, you may not have been the winner, but you too can get Soft Beginnings

So what else transpired this past month, another month of COVID craziness?    Well, Donata and I had the opportunity to "get out of Dodge" for a week and visited family and friends in Austin, Liberty Hill, Elgin, and spent a few days in Canyon Lakes.  Go HERE for photos that are now in the new "Texas Travels" gallery on the website.  Living on the coast, I forget that there is a lot to see in Texas, and there is no doubt that we will continue to stretch our wings, though will probably stay close to home until "things" settle down in Texas, and rest of the country.  

The "Test of Time" was a popular photo this past month, and probably my favorite of our trip to Canyon Lakes.  This ancient cypress drew me back several times, and on  this morning my goal was to capture the beauty, strength, and timelessness of it's existence. One can only guess at the onslaughts it has endured both natural and man-made. If you arrive there early, you can easily imagine you are the first person to see it, to hear the sound of the water, to smell the clean air, and to experience the stillness... 

"Of time you would make a stream upon whose bank you would sit and watch its flowing. Yet the timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness, And knows that 'yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream." ~ Khalil Gibran Canyon Lake, Texas, June 10, 2020

The Two Friends - Last week we spent the week in Hill Country, and we really enjoyed the change of scenery, and had fun shooting new areas, and our visits with family and friends. One of my shots last week was called "A Path Less Traveled" and I used a quote from Anatole France "If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads." As I shot this photo this morning, I thought about the path we followed last week, and though I enjoyed Hill Country, and will no doubt spend more time exploring up there, I also know that my path is well worn on the coast, not just in Texas, but on both coasts, it is a path that has served me well. This thought came to me, and this morning as I looked at the scene unfold, I also remembered the countless hours I spent on the Ventura Pier, in California, as a child. The connection is the two friends in the photo, and an old and enduring friendship, with longtime friend and pier-rat Ed Gonzales who I still fish with fifty years later. If it wasn't for COVID, he and I would have been in Mexico...fishing. "The place where two friends first met is sacred to them all through their friendship, all the more sacred as their friendship deepens and grows old."            ~ Phillips Brooks 

Port Aransas, Texas, June 15, 2020

The Promise  Always a tough decision...do I go East or West; to the East there is an amazing rainbow that I can see from my front porch, and to the West the promise of a Saharan Dust enhanced sunset out the back windows. Regardless of which way I chose to go, it would be pretty much a one trick pony. Though ultimately the sunset colors were as promised truly spectacular, I'm glad I followed the rainbow, to a unique display of nature's amazing beauty, with two bonus pelicans flying side by side into the rainbow. "God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us - in the dreariest and most dreaded moments - can see a possibility of hope." ~ Maya Angelou 

Port Aransas, Texas, June 25, 2020

Family Dreams - When I shot "The Promise" two days ago, I had a few more shots that I kept, each of which seemed to have a different message. As I was writing my weekly blog post, I gave this shot some more thought, in the context of hope. I was truly humbled by the response to the "Promise" which by the way was originally titled "Two Pelicans at the End of the Rainbow", and the quote from Maya Angelou selected for it fit so well with all that is going on during these challenging time..."God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us - in the dreariest and most dreaded moments - can see a possibility of hope."  Many other viewers called the rainbow "God's Promise" which is why I changed the title. The common thread is that we are all seeking reassurance, and await better times. I think that this young family in this photo offers us that hope...as promised by the rainbow.  Again Maya has offered the right words "Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope." ~ Maya Angelou 

Port Aransas, Texas, June 25, 2020

The Sky Above - Often times we focus on what is in front of us, or occasionally forget to look behind us, so as to recall lessons that we learned in the past. In this case, it was what was above me, as I shot multiple horizontal shots, with the emphasis on the calm waters, reflections, and golden clouds, and a broad horizon, ignoring the beauty high above. With this morning's sunrise a complete dud, I recalled shooting some vertical shots a couple days ago that I thought might save the day. Sure enough, the sky above offered amazing beauty, coupled with the elements that were the focus on another day. What does the sky above offer you? 

"Your hopes, dreams and aspirations are legitimate. They are trying to take you airborne, above the clouds, above the storms, if you only let them." ~ William James

South Bay, Aransas Pass, Texas, June 23, 2020 

The Veterans - an amazing tribute to our Veterans in Liberty Hill, Texas. Though I did not serve in the military, I worked for DoD for 30 years and have the deepest respect for those that have and continue to serve. "Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country's cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause." ~ Abraham Lincoln Liberty Hill, Texas, June 13, 2020

Special Offer only for Snapshot Readers!!

Don't forget, as a reader of my monthly newsletter "Snapshots", you receive special discounts not advertised elsewhere.  So this month I am offering you something special, any photos featured in the website will be offered at a 25% discount, only available to you, though to take advantage of this you will need to use the Discount Code "JulySnapshot", this discount is for four days only - July 5th through July 8th.   SHOP NOW