And I was born with a pirate's soul
Born rumbero and jarocho
Troubadour of the edge
and I went, far away from Veracruz..."
“Veracruz." Song by Agustín Lara (1930’s)
I was born and raised in the beautiful coastal town of Veracruz, Mexico. My parents had five children and we were nicknamed “los pollitos” (the little chickens) because we had blond, fussy hair.
My father owned an auto shop called “Autos Enanos” and mom stayed home; she loved to cook delicious, complicated recipes and just to take good care of our family.
Our house had a big back yard with palm trees, and a huge avocado tree. We would climb that tree and harvest the avocados, throwing them in the pool. There was pool house, which was decorated with an array of German souvenirs. Every weekend our relatives would come over for swimming parties, traditional foods, and good old German music.
One of the fondest memories of my childhood was our yearly family camping trip. When I say family, I mean the term in the Mexican sense, including grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, second cousins, etc. Once we became teenagers that tradition evolved into a trip to San Antonio to go shopping.
While I was going to college, I worked at the family business during the summers, which taught me to do my best at every task and always treat people with respect. I graduated from Universidad Cristobal Colón with a Business Degree; and before I got a job I spent one year in Seattle, Washington, studying English as a foreign exchange student. The program for international students made me very appreciative of different cultures.
In 1988 a wild wind from the ocean brought me to Rockport, TX where I currently reside. I furthered my education in Corpus Christi State University and I have been teaching Spanish at Rockport-Fulton High School since 1991, where my Pirate soul has felt most at home. As time has passed, I’ve come to realize that I learn as much from my students – if not more – as they do from me. What I have enjoyed the most about my teaching career has been the relationships I have made throughout the years with my students and colleagues. It was in an old teacher’s lounge where I met my husband Al Nesbit, a great educator and a wonderful husband and father who supports me in all my dreams.
Being married to a teacher has allowed our family to spend many summers in Mexico. As a result, my two children have grown bilingual and bicultural, two traits that I’ve always treasured.
My passion has always been photography, and it could just be in my genes since my father had a dark room next to the avocado tree of my childhood home.
My favorite quote is “Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” by Marc Riboud. This is exactly how I feel when I am taking a photo: it is the act of aligning your outer senses with your inner feelings; as you hold your breath for an instant, you capture an image that portrays your very soul.
The closer I get to my retirement, the more passionate I’ve become about creating and sharing my photography. I feel extremely grateful for the countless support I get from my family and friends. I hold a vision of having my own little photo studio, covered with photographs of those little bits of life that I have been fortunate to enjoy.
Thank you so much for sharing, Maria. We have been so fortunate to be able to share and enjoy your amazing photographs!