This month’s featured artist is a talented photographer and San Marcos native, Andy Heatwole. Asked about how he developed his passion for photography, he explains, “I got my first camera about 18 years ago after discovering a website dedicated to night photography. To me it looked like magic and it was love at first sight. I’m primarily self-taught, learning through repetition and practice, though I do draw upon the experience of others at times.” The creation of his business, San Marcos Photos, came about because of Andy’s love for his hometown. “I grew up in San Marcos and spent many summer days swimming in the river. In 2013, after several years of running a commercial photography business, I felt a strong need to reconnect with my first photographic loves - nature and landscapes. I decided to focus my efforts locally, wanting to capture and present locations that are familiar to many people, but in unique ways that convey their essence and my connection to them. In the process of this exploration, I rediscovered the beauty of my hometown and
San Marcos Photos was born.”
When asked what inspires him to create photographic art, Andy says, “Nature has always been my greatest inspiration. I love exploring the outdoors and experiencing it through the senses and the lens. For me, photography is as much about the experience as it is the picture. It's why I'm compelled to get out of my nice warm bed before dawn on a cold winter morning or stand in the face of an oncoming storm with my camera when everyone else is running for shelter. I revel in those situations and enjoy the challenge of conveying them in visual form.” He continues, “Emotion is at the heart of my work. It’s not just capturing how a place looks; I want the viewer to feel what I felt when I was there. The greatest compliments I receive are when people tell me how they connected with one of my photos emotionally. To me, that's when a photograph becomes art. My favorite moments are when I'm alone, bearing witness to the unsolicited beauty of nature. I love capturing those moments and sharing them with the world.” Andy notes that he is also inspired by other photographers. “Thanks to online platforms like Instagram, I’m able to connect with photographers around the world who share the same passion and express their own unique vision. They inspire me to see the world differently and challenge me to evolve and grow. A thriving art community brings us all closer together; art can be a great unifier, speaking to us in a universal language, and creating bonds between people who, on the surface, may seem to have little in common. I’ve made great friends, both artists and fans, that I never would have met otherwise.”
In conclusion, Andy Heatwole gives thanks; “I’m very grateful to the San Marcos community for the overwhelming support I’ve received since I started San Marcos Photos. What started as a creative exercise has evolved into something far greater than I could have imagined. As the city grows, I hope my work will inspire people to appreciate and preserve what makes San Marcos so special and unique.”
Art Squared is pleased to highlight the photography of Andy Heatwole this month. Stop by his booth and visit him online at www.smtxphotos.com, www.facebook.com/smtxphotos, and www.instagram.com/sanmarcosphotos.