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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.

This map shows the 5 regions of Texas.  Everything west of Graham in the north to San Marcos in the South Central part is West Texas.

This map shows the 5 regions of Texas. Everything west of Graham in the north to San Marcos in the South Central part is West Texas.

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,” (

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


C E Clark (author) from North Texas on November 25, 2019:

Steve Knight, thank you for taking time to look through these great photos and leave a comment. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! If you are set on returning to Texas I hope you will find a great new home that will bring you comfort and peace. Rare commodities in the world these days it would seem. Best wishes . . .

Steve Knight on November 20, 2019:

I have enjoyed reading about Mr. Meinzer very much. He captures in his photo's what I feel when I think of Texas. Fifty years ago I met my wife in El Paso. We lived there for four years and then moved away, always with Texas in my minds eye. Lately and after retiring we have started vacationing in The Lone Star State with the hope of possibly making a move to the Temple area.

Robert Sacchi on April 04, 2019:

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That's true. Instinct tells me every state must have at least one photojournalist that covers it. Covering a state should seem a good starter project for a photojournalist.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 04, 2019:

Robert Sacchi, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. As you know, Texas is the second largest state in the U.S. both in land mass and population. It's a thousand miles across and another thousand miles north and south.

It has been considered that Texas should be broken up and if it were, it could be turned into 5 new states each about the size of Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, or Ohio, among others. Given it's size alone, it's unlikely any of our 'regular' sized states would have more diversity. California would have the greatest chance of competing in that area I think.

I have visited 38 of our states and lived in 5. I have found that each one has i's own unique beauty. It would be great if there were a photo journal on each state.

Robert Sacchi on March 23, 2019:

I see where Mr. Meinzer has a point about Texas being the most diverse state in the Union. While Alaska is bigger Texas seems better positioned for a more diverse topography. It might be great to see photographers from other states chalenge his assertion with their photography.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 16, 2016:

Peggy W., thank you for sharing this article. Texas is indeed unique and diverse and has many beautiful areas and landscapes.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 11, 2016:

Thought I'd revisit this good hub of yours and share once again. There is so much beauty in Texas!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on December 09, 2015:

Peggy W., thank you for shining a light on this article. Texas does indeed have a little of everything with amazing scenery everywhere. The second biggest state in the country both landsize-wise and population wise. This photographer has some amazing photos of this state.

Merry Christmas to you, too, Peggy. I was just remarking on how unbelievable that a bran new year is just around the corner! Enjoy the holiday season and take care . . .

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 04, 2015:

Hi Au fait,

Happy to share this again so that more people can learn about West Texas and all its beauty. Our state is blessed with so much beauty and it is so varied from seashore to desert to mountainous to piney woods to semi-tropical and more. Many people do not realize the vastness of our state and all its environs.

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and will enjoy a very Merry Christmas and holiday season in general. Hard to believe that this year of 2015 is quickly coming to a close!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 15, 2015:

Starstream, thank you for taking time to read this article and view the videos! I'm so glad you enjoyed this and that Mr. Meisner's photos inspired your creativity. You might also enjoy my articles on the Colorado National Monument, and Peak District National Park.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 14, 2015:

pstraubie49, thank you Patricia for taking time to view this article, for the votes, tweet, pin, and share. So glad you enjoyed it, and last but not least, thank you for sending angels my way. One can never have too many, and I hope they surround you at all times too, keeping you safe in the Lord.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 13, 2015:

Vocalcoach, thank you for voting and sharing this article! So glad you enjoyed it!! Texas has 5 main regions and each is very different from all the others. You might enjoy my 'Texas' board on Pinterest. Texas has a little bit of everything. I don't think even the desert is flat . . . :)

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 10, 2015:

Paula, I think you should write a review or his book, or an exposé on him, or both. Get permission from him to use some of his photos. Can't hurt. We can all learn about his work and he can become known to more people. From the link you sent me, I think his photos would be very interesting to see and he must be an interesting guy to take them in the first place. A great idea for an article for you . . . thanks for the link and for sharing about him. I may just Google him anyway to see what else I can find . . .

Suzie from Carson City on January 10, 2015:

Suzie from Carson City on January 10, 2015:

C.E. it's Danny Wilcox Frazer.......I tried to send you a link to a site about him, but it didn't work out as I hoped......If you google his name, you'll find & all.

Suzie from Carson City on January 10, 2015:

I don't know the answer to that, but I can ask Danny (via my daughter-in-law) about this. Danny lives in Iowa. He was kind enough to send me an autographed copy of the book he published a few years back. The exact title escapes me at the moment...but it's (of course) a photographic journal of particular parts of Iowa......mostly "rural." You can google Danny Frazier. He uses a middle name also, but my memory is on vacation today. I'll get back to you.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 10, 2015:

Paula (fpherj48), thank you for your generous comments, votes, pin, tweet, and share. Keep it up and my head won't fit my hats anymore! :) Mr. Meinzer is indeed a master in his field and I wonder if your daughter-in-law's brother might have had a class with him since he teaches that subject and takes his students out into the wilderness to get a real taste of what they are about?

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 08, 2015:

Tillsontitan, thank you for reading and viewing this article, and for the votes. So glad you enjoyed it! Keep in mind that these photos only represent one region of Texas and the other regions are all very different.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on January 07, 2015:

Paul Kuehn, thank you for your wonderful comment and for the shares and votes. I'm glad you enjoyed this article and all the photos. One thing that is pretty much consistent all over the huge state of Texas is HOT. The sun is relentless and we rarely have a cloudy day anytime during the year. There is a lot of green on the eastern side of the state. Texas has a little bit of everything.

Dreamer at heart from Northern California on January 06, 2015:

Watching the video of West Texas photographs brought me inspiration to design some new wolf earrings. Thanks so much for sharing this informative and interesting article. " Immersed in the moonlight" and walking through rivers intrigues me. Texas is so beautiful!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 06, 2015:

Good morning AuFait

One thing is for certain, he loves Texas. And that is a lovely thing. I love Virginia like no other place that I have lived so to hear his adoration of this state is grand.

The photos he shared in the video are breathtaking. He was at the right spot at the right time...the one of the highway rushing toward the hills in the background I do think was my favorite.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Angels are on the way to you this morning.

Voted up++++ g+ tweeted Pinned Shared

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on January 06, 2015:

And here I am visualizing Texas to be all flat. :)

Fantastic hub, aufait, and really enjoyed the videos as well as all the beauty in your hub. Thanks so much. Voted up+++ and sharing.

Suzie from Carson City on January 05, 2015:

au fait.....Wonderful informational Hub. Photos are breathtaking. I acquired a boost in appreciation of photo journalism several years ago. My daughter-in-law's brother (Iowa) is an award-wining photo-journalist. Just talking with him about his particular art is an eye-opening experience.

You write about Meinzer as if you know him personally (?) you made this article extremely interesting, like only you can do, C.E. You have certainly convinced me that this man is a Master in his Field! UP+++ sharing, pinned & tweeted

Mary Craig from New York on January 05, 2015:

Breathtaking photographs and certainly an education for people who have never been to Texas. What a masterful photographer Meinzer is. Thank you for introducing him to me and Hubville.

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on January 05, 2015:

Au fait, Thanks for sharing another awesome hub about Wyman Meinzer and his photography. I always learn a lot when I read your hubs. In 1968 when I was in the Navy, I spent three months at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo. All I remember is that it was very dry and hot while I was there from July through October. Voted up and sharing with HP followers and on Facebook.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on July 14, 2014:

PegCole17, thank you for exploring this article. The photos are amazing. Glad you enjoyed!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 12, 2014:

These are fascinating photos and a great introduction to the Award Winning photographer, Wyman Meiner. I loved learning more about Texas as well.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 05, 2014:

Thank you for stopping by rebeccamealey. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Texas is the second biggest state in the U.S. both area-wise and population-wise. It's pretty close to 1000 miles across and 1000 miles up and down. Big enough to turn into 5 'normal' sized states like Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, etc. There are 5 different regions here and all are different from each other.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on April 03, 2014:

Thank you moonlake, for taking time to stop by and leave a note, and for pinning this article as well.

I know things must be very difficult right now and so your visit means all the more. I really hope everything is going as well as possible for your husband and your whole family. I hope you have been able to get your sleep again. You are in my prayers . . .

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on April 02, 2014:

I drove across Texas once...what a huge state! Thank you for sharing these pictures and information. Interesting read! And it's probably true about most any state. There is more to see than just from parks and highways.

moonlake from America on April 02, 2014:

Stopped in for a visit. We just got back from Wausau another visit to the hospital. I try to get on here when I can and comment here and there. Loved this hub and never did pin it so today I'm going to pin and share.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 24, 2014:

Thank you for stopping in Deborah-Diane! I'm so glad you enjoyed the videos. Texas is the second largest state in the U.S. in both population and land size. It is 1000 miles from side to side and 1000 miles from end to end. It is the size of 5 'normal' sized states like Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, or Kansas. We have 5 distinct regions here, each different from the others.

It's hard for some people to wrap their minds around the idea that a flood in Houston doesn't have much affect in Dallas. They're 5 hours apart in travel time. The flood might as well be happening in another country . . .

Thanks again for taking time to view these magnificent photos!

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on February 23, 2014:

Our family lived for 25 years in Texas and it is a much more diverse state than many people realize. Thank you for sharing this information about Wyman Meinzer. Such an amazing artist! I loved the photos and video.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 16, 2013:

Thank you rajan jolly for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this article. I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos and videos. Meinzer is truly a gifted artist.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 12, 2013:

Wonderful videos; a treat to watch these photos and read about Wyman Meinzer. I had not heard of him. Thanks for sharing.

Voted up and shared.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 05, 2013:

Thank you Peggy W, for tweeting this hub! The videos are amazing aren't they? :)

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 01, 2013:

Going to give this a tweet in order to share it again. I hope people take the time to view the videos!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 27, 2013:

Deborah-Diane, thank you for reading, voting on, and commenting on this hub! Texas has a little bit of everything. Lots of people think it's all desert and that couldn't be further from the truth. These are indeed amazing photos and I'm glad you enjoyed!

Deborah-Diane from Orange County, California on June 23, 2013:

Amazing photographs! We used to live in Texas and it is, indeed, a very photogenic state. Thanks for sharing this. Voted up ... beautiful!

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on March 12, 2013:

Thank you Peggy W, for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this hub. Agree that this is worth viewing for many different reasons. I'm so glad you found it too, and that you enjoyed it!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 07, 2013:

I am so glad that I found this hub. It must be incredible to take photography lessons from Wyman Meinzer and an adventure as well. I watched all 3 videos and each is definitely worth the time to view. His photos are breathtakingly beautiful. Thanks for introducing me to his photography. I did not realize that he is the official photographer for Texas. All the up votes except funny and will definitely share.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 16, 2013:

Thank you for having a look at these great photos Shyron, and for leaving a comment. They are excellent!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on February 11, 2013:

Awesome pictures and video's.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on February 11, 2013:

moonlake, thank you for viewing the amazing photos/videos here of West Texas and for voting this hub up!

moonlake from America on February 10, 2013:

Great photos. Enjoyed your hub. I was married in Texas and we lived there off and on. My parents had a riding horse stable there. Voted up

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on August 08, 2012:

Thank you John, for stopping by and commenting. These are some amazing photos of West TX. Glad you enjoyed. Yes Texas has just about everything in the way of landscaping, but it mostly comes in one temperature --HOT!

John Merrill on August 07, 2012:

Great hub. Great photography. I thought most of Texas looked like this, but only part of it eh? Seems like in all the movies it always looks like mostly desert.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 03, 2012:

The photos are fantastic on here aren't they? Thank you again for reading and commenting Shyron.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on June 01, 2012:

sgbrown: Very much appreciate your taking time to read and comment on my hub. Thank you!

Remember, these photos were only of West Texas. There are 4 other regions that are very different.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 31, 2012:

Thank you Bobby, for your lovely comments. Texas is indeed an incredible state, but then all of our states are incredible, as are most of the countries in the world. If anything spoils them, it's usually the people in charge . .

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on May 30, 2012:

Awesome and interesting. Love all your hubs.

C E Clark (author) from North Texas on May 29, 2012:

whowas: Thank you for your comments. I loved the photos too. But remember, they represent only one region of Texas. The other regions are very different and unique from West Texas and have a beauty all their own. We do have a lot of lakes and streams and lots of green and flowers in the area where I live.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on May 28, 2012:

The photography is beautiful and the article is very interesting as well. Texas is a very diverse state and the photographer has captured so much of it beautifully. Voted up and interesting! Have a great day! :)

diogenes from UK and Mexico on May 28, 2012:

Lovely, Misty: I wonder how he kept all the rednecks out of the shots!

Texas is, indeed, bigger than most countries and people aren't aware of its beautiful parts. I used to zoom through it on the way to the eastern borders into Mexico and all I saw was freeways.

Interesting hub duckie


PS I had to look at those pictures again, they are exceptional as is the dialogue...

whowas on May 28, 2012:

Hi Au Fait,

Thanks for that fascinating and beautiful hub about an incredible man and artist. The photography is truly stunning - he captures alternately the vastness of the natural spaces in Texas and the intimacy of of the smaller scale - the shot of the owl peeking through the snow or the cowboys at work in the dust and heat.

I also loved the way he treats water - I never realized that Texas boasted such splendid aquatic features. What a stunning place, delightfully rendered by a man so clearly attuned both to the natural places and the art of photography.

He deserves his many honors.

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