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Wyman Meinzer Award Winning Nature Photographer Shares Amazing Photos of West Texas
Wyman Meinzer, the only person ever named official Texas photographer, received that honor in 1997 from then Governor George W. Bush and the Texas Legislature. Meinzer has since become one of the foremost wildlife photographers in the country.
Meinzer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife management in 1974 at Texas Tech University in Lubbock Texas. Immediately after graduation he moved out into the backcountry of West Texas with the coyotes and rattlesnakes in order to focus on his first love, photography. Not just any photography, but photographing wildlife and wilderness far from the city lights.
Life In West Texas Back Country
In an interview with Gretchen Pressley of Texas Tech Today, Meinzer says, ‘“I was out there for weeks at a time with no other person, [living in] a half dugout with no electricity, no running water. I had hundreds of thousands of acres to roam over freely, and I could see all kinds of gorgeous sights and weather patterns. I got to be a student at a very basic level once again.”’
Meinzer now teaches one of the most popular photography classes at Texas Tech (since 2000) and still finds time for photo shoots for magazines and books. His photos have appeared in many major magazines like National Geographic, Field and Stream, Time, Newsweek, and Smithsonian, among others. Meinzer has been photographing wildlife and wilderness for 33 years and in addition to his photos appearing in more than 250 magazines, he has more than 24 books to his credit.
His photography class is a little unconventional in that he and his students go on a 2-week field trip where, as Meinzer puts it, “we live and breathe photography.” Pressley writes: “They walk into rivers in the moonlight, waiting for the perfect shot, completely immersing themselves in outdoor photography.”
Meinzer and his wife Sylinda live in Benjamin Texas where they turned the old Benjamin jailhouse into a comfortable home.
Meinzer Takes Us Places We Will Probably Never Go
Nora Varty who interviewed Wyman Meinzer for the November 2002 issue of Texas Monthly magazine says of Meinzer, “[he] takes us places we’ve never been and probably will never go. He captures on film some of the most remote and beautiful spots in Texas so that city slickers who lack the wherewithal to ride a mule into the desert may enjoy them,” (http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/qa-wyman-meinzer).
Meinzer himself says that people miss so much natural beauty when they limit themselves to our national parks and things they can see from the roadways. He says Texas is the most diverse state in America and he doubts he will ever run out of new, exciting, unusual, and beautiful landscapes and wildlife to photograph and share with people who are interested.
Below are films of some of Meinzer’s fantastic photos. I lived in West Texas a while back and have seen many of the landscapes in these photographs first hand. As Meinzer said, Texas is very diverse, so I hope people who have never been to Texas will not imagine that all of Texas looks like the photos in this film.
There are 5 different regions in Texas, each big enough to be a separate state about the size of Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia, or Colorado, or some others, and every region is unique and beautiful in it’s own way, just like all of the states that make up this country. The vimeos (videos) are each less than five minutes – enjoy!
Wyman Meinzer's West Texas
Wyman Meinzer Talking To Texas Parks and Wildlife
Inspiration Texas Style
© 2012 C E Clark