El Rancho Escondido | Driftwood, Texas

Back to our US road trip! After New Mexico, we finally got to Texas where we spent a few weeks in Dallas, Austin, and Houston. For a few days, we stayed at my aunt and uncle’s ranch in Driftwood, which is a little south of Austin. El Rancho Escondido is home to lots of cows, donkeys, and dogs. Austin the Australian Cattle Dog even has his own Facebook page.

ranch-5ranch-13ranch-7ranch-11ranch-1ranch-3ranch-9ranch-12ranch-4dog running with ears flappingranch-6ranch-14

Advertisements

Beauty Revived | Meet Lissette

The Beauty Revived magazine featuring 50 Beautiful Mothers is out!! You can learn more about it and purchase it here.
I am so honored to be one of the 50 photographers featured in the magazine! I photographed my friend Lissette with her daughter. Here is her story, with some of the pictures!

~~~~~~~~

Lissette Barril was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico and moved to Texas in 1995. She joined the United States Air Force when she was eighteen. “When September 11th happened,” Lissette recalls, “I made up my mind then and there that I was going to serve my country.”

Lissette worked in an Aircraft Maintenance squadron, where she directly aided the command section. She also worked with Boeing to assist with the aircraft maintenance software with the F-15E and F-15C fighter jets. “My proudest moment was when I was lauded by Boeing for being an extraordinary airman. I transitioned all software for 850 personnel within two weeks.”

After Lissette left the military, she had a beautiful daughter, Tatiana. Then she began to experience the struggles of transitioning to civilian life. “I got married and ended up in a physically abusive relationship and became homeless and an alcoholic.” She found herself living out of her car with her daughter. Tatiana became her inspiration to keep moving forward and pursue a better life for them both. Lissette recovered from alcoholism and always made time to volunteer for veterans’ organizations. “I fought through all the adversity and finally moved into a nice townhome and started going to school.”

Lissette is now a full-time student, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Biology. “I want to eventually find alternative treatments for vets, other than medication.”

Her passion for improving the lives of veterans is a major part of her life. “I try to help out as much as I can. If there are opportunities to do something that will directly impact a veteran’s life, I am down for it.” Lissette is an events coordinator for Twenty-Two Until None, a non-profit organization that aims to end veteran suicide one step at a time. An average of twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day. This group supports struggling veterans by offering emergency financial assistance, VA benefits help, advocacy, wellness services, camaraderie, and a 24/7 crisis hotline. “The reason I stand for the 22 is because I don’t want any other veterans, especially females, to go through the same horrible transitioning experience that I went through. My oath did not end when the uniform came off. I will continue to strive to help veterans each and every day, in any way I can.” She has found joy in working with veterans and has made many great friends along the way.  “I love coordinating events that bring veterans together. It brings the sense of camaraderie that we used to have in the service.”

When Lissette is not studying or advocating for veterans, she spends her time with her daughter, who is now six years old. “My daughter is a firecracker who loves to have adventures. She zip-lined at the age of three and still looks for more thrills. She takes gymnastics and is very good at it.” Lissette hopes that Tatiana will fulfill her dreams, no matter what they are. “Happiness comes from moments and doing what you love to do. I will be there for most of those moments.”

lissette-1lissette-2lissette-4lissette-9lissette-10lissette-11lissette-12lissette-21lissette-22

50 Most Beautiful Moms

BR Mom square graphic
SO excited to announce that I have been chosen to be one of 50 photographers for the 2016 Beauty Revived Beautiful Mothers campaign! One deserving mom will receive a free session from me and will be featured in the Mother’s Day issue of the Beauty Revived magazine.
I am passionate about showing the REAL beauty in people, and now I need your help! Do you know an amazing, beautiful mom who deserves to be celebrated? Nominate her by telling her story here.
Go to beautyrevived.com to learn more about this great organization!

Shelby | SHSU Graduation Senior Portraits

Shelby is about to graduate from Sam Houston State University with a degree in journalism! We took pictures all over campus. She brought all of the school papers she was published in (very impressive!). She dreams of one day moving to New York and writing for a magazine.
Good luck, Shelby! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!

Lost Maples Hike

For our anniversary, my husband and I went for an overnight hike at Lost Maples State Natural Area near San Antonio, Texas. It was a rough hike, but the views were worth it. In our typical style, we of course ran out of water and brought too much wine. Our water filter system saved us. There were some terrifying bugs and the heat was relentless, but most of the time we were the only ones on the trail and it was magical 🙂

Lost Maples-4
Lost Maples-8
Lost Maples-33
Lost Maples-20
Lost Maples-31
Lost Maples-28
Lost Maples-37
Lost Maples-38
Lost Maples-40

Jenna + Alex | College Station Wedding

I had such a fun day photographing Jenna and Alex’s wedding in at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in College Station! The love of their family and friends was so apparent; everyone helped out to make sure everything was perfect and went smoothly. The day was full of special moments, from the excitement of getting ready, to the quiet moments before the ceremony, to the first kiss, to the best man’s speech delivered from Kuwait, ending with the super romantic last dance. My best wishes go out to you two… never forget all the love you have around you, and may you have a long, happy, blessed life together!

Shiner Catholic Church Picnic

If you’ve heard of Shiner at all, you’ve probably heard of the beer. Well, there was plenty of that at the annual church picnic on Memorial Day weekend. The little town in Texas was busy with food, music, and laughter, and everyone had a great time.

shiner picnic
shiner dancing
shiner kid
shiner kid dancing
shiner hobo band
shiner hobo band

The Shiner Hobo Band, in my opinion, is the best polka band of all time. They like to polka almost as much as they like to drink Shiner beer.