A WEEKEND GETAWAY | SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

Since the first time I came to Texas about 6 years ago, just for a two week visit, I fell in love with the architecture of The beautiful city of San Antonio. The mix of different styles of romanesque revival with American, Spanish and Mexican influences made my eyes wonder and filled my heart with warmth and forever love for this city. It is a multidimensional place with a lot to offer in history of architecture. And this is also a place where I fell in love only to marry the man of my dreams a year later!

And here we are 6 Years later, taking a Labor Day trip with our pups (not pictured as it was too hot for them to be walking around). I had a family photo session in the Tea Garden, and the best day we decided to head out to Sea World as soon as it opened to avoid lines and people. It brought out the child in me, I was giddy and silly and loved every bit of it. But after leaving Sea World we still had time to kill before Ryan and the pups would have to head home (I was staying for work), so we wondered over to one of the Missions. This particular one is the Mission of San Jose - and it is simply magnificent - to imagine a whole community lives there at some point! 

I loved it so much that I want to go back and visit every Mission out there! Who is with me?  

{LAURA & DEREK} MATERNITY | DANA PEAK PARK, TEXAS

When Laura came for her consultation I was blown away but her soft and sweet personality, tiny body frame, and a soul filled with love for her husband Derek. We talked about her session and she asked me to capture more than just maternity photos. She asked me for couples photos - and as she said that tears started pouring down. She has been missing Derek for months as he was away training with the Army. So these photos were extra special to both Laura and Derek.

{THE HALL FAMILY} ARMY HOMECOMING | FORT HOOD, TEXAS

Every homecoming is different, and yet every homecoming is the same.

A homecoming is like a bare nerve- it is sensitive, it is painful, it is pulsating, and it feel like its about to tear.

And then comes that sweet moment -  a white bus off in the distance - and noise falls ... time stands still, and the atmosphere changes. 

Everything changes in that precious moment - because the wait is finally over. 

SPC Hall - welcome home! Gaby and Payton missed you so much! 

 

{THE ELLIOTT FAMILY} ARMY HOMECOMING | FORT HOOD, TEXAS

It was the longest wait - and the most emotional return. From constant rescheduling to an emotional rollercoaster, to finally a good day - the GREATEST day!

This Friday was the day Taylor and her babies got to welcome their soldier home. 

The air was filled with anticipation, and nervousness, and so much love - and as soon as a glimpse of the white bus was seen, tears started to fill up the eyes. Tears of joy and tears of relief. Tears of happiness. 

Welcome home SGT Elliott!

{THE ROYSTER FAMILY} ARMY HOMECOMING | FORT HOOD

It was 2 A.M., the air was getting crispier, temperatures falling below 30 degrees but no matter how late or cold, you could feel the wave of warmth wash over you - warmth from all the raw emotion felt by the loved ones of the soldiers coming back from a long deployment. 

Time away is trying - long time away is indescribable.  So it is finally time to say: 

Welcome home SPC Royster!  You were missed!

{THE EKUDI FAMILY} ARMY HOMECOMING | FORT HOOD

I absolutely love photographing homecomings.

There is nothing like it in the world - so full of raw emotion. It even gets me from time to time and I'll notice I need to wipe away the tears.

Families get put through so much during deployments, it is hard to describe to anyone who is not part of that world. The tears, the joy, the hardship and loneliness - and of course the countless days, hours, minutes, that never seem to end  - but they do end and when that moment comes, there is no bigger joy than that experienced by the re-united family.