From Dawn to Dark and Back Again at the Hale Center


A version of this story ran in the February 2012 issue.

In the summer of 1989, at the age of 11, I went to work with my neighbor and cotton farmer Mr. Heinrich. Starting at 5 a.m. each day, with a brown bag of sandwiches and a mug of coffee, I received my education in agriculture. It was immediately evident that farming is a hard life—crop disease, invasive plants, unpredictable weather, water or lack thereof, and, of course, the sheer scale of the endeavor.

In 2011, I returned to Lubbock to try to visualize my meaning of home. Borrowing a quote about farm work from the diary of a Panhandle farmer, “From Dawn to Dark and Back Again,” is an exploration of farming and rural life through portraiture and visual sentiment.

See more of Austin photographer Matt Wright-Steel’s work on the Eye On Texas main page. CALL FOR ENTRIES: Seeking Texas-based documentary photography that captures the strangest state. Please send inquiries to Managing Editor Susan Smith-Richardson.