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The Austin-Round Rock area has the fastest-growing population of adults age 55 to 64 in the country, and the third-fastest-growing population of people 65 and older. Last year I had the opportunity to take portraits of clients at Central Texas Family Eldercare, a nonprofit that provides services to seniors, caregivers and adults with disabilities.

When I arrived to photograph Bessie, at left, I was overcome with her warmth, her enthusiasm and her wardrobe. She had never had her portrait taken before. At 70, she was taking her first writing classes and composing poetry. Bessie’s energy and newfound dedication to self-expression reminded me that every day we make choices: We can withdraw, or we can offer ourselves as a gift to the world around us.

See more of Austin photographer Sarah Wilson’s work at sarahwilsonphotography.com.

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Seeking Texas-based documentary photography that captures the strangest state. Please send inquiries to [email protected].