A Celebration of Corpus Christi Photographers - The Bend

The Great Local Photography Contest

A celebration of photographers in Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas.

Photo from Coastal Bend Photographer, Rosa Lazaro

"Blue Tequila" by Abstract/Artistic Photography Winner, Rosa Lazaro

Behind every moment is a visual virtuoso with a camera in hand. To showcase the work of our outstanding Coastal Bend photographers, we hosted an online photography contest featuring 14 different categories. Our expert panel of judges, consisting of local educators, artists and art gallery professionals, went through almost 200 submissions to select a winner in each category. Plus, we’ve included a few Editor’s Picks to spotlight even more beautiful work! From glistening waterfront views and vibrant South Texas sunsets to a plethora of awe-inspiring wildlife and candid snapshots of city events bursting with life, these greater Coastal Bend and Corpus Christi photographers have so much to capture. 

Judging Panel:

Jennifer Arnold, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Interim Gallery Director at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Dianna Bluntzer Sherman, Executive Director of the Art Center of Corpus Christi

Jennifer Garza-Cuen, Associate Professor of Art (Photography) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Deborah Fullerton, Curator of Exhibitions at Art Museum of South Texas

Raymond Gray, Master Photographer PPA and Owner of Raymond Gray Photography

Elena Rodriguez, Manager of Recruitment and Engagement, Art & Drama at Del Mar College

Carlos Villarreal, Adjunct Professor of Art, Art History & Media at Texas A&M University – Kingsville and Owner of PRODUCE Gallery


Abstract/Artistic Photography: Rosa Lazaro

Photo from Coastal Bend Photographer, Rosa Lazaro

“‘Blue Tequila’ is a close-up photo taken a year ago at The South Texas Botanical Gardens. I enjoy close-up and macro photography, and one of my favorite places to do this is at the Botanical Gardens. My lovely model was a resident at the gardens named Tequila. The photo was blown up, cleaned up and sized in Photoshop. I would like to give a special thank you to Jeff Janko my photography instructor at Del Mar Continuing Education. ”

Aerial/Drone Photography: JT Garza

Photo by Coastal Bend Photographer JT Garza

“This image is titled ‘Parallel Lanes.’ It is an overhead drone shot of the Corpus Christi T-heads rocking an emerald green vibe. The image was taken with a DJI Air2s, iso 100, 8.38mm, f2.8, 1/1250 sec.”

Sports Photography: Ashley Perez

Photo from Coastal Bend Photographer, Ashley Perez

“This photograph was taken in May 2023 in Port Aransas. It showcases a local surfer, Hunter Martinez, as he catches air off a wave at Horace Caldwell Pier. The image was shot with a Canon R6 camera and Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS lens.”

Nature Photography – Landscape: Omar Nunez

Omar Nunez

“I took this photo one morning while at a friend’s lake house in Mathis. The fog had set in, and I was lucky enough to capture this landscape with my Canon 3TI. This particular photo was taken in 2017.”

Weather Photography: Cissy Beasley 

Photo by Coastal Bend Photographer, Cissy Beasley

“Documenting dramatic weather images by drone is natural for me, so as a strong weather system moved into the Rockport area, I was there with my drone to capture the arrival of the front line. Despite the howling wind, the drone performed flawlessly, though I was nervous as it hovered several hundred feet over Aransas Bay. As the wind increased, I hit ‘return to home’ and the drone landed without fanfare. And then, I breathed. Photographed with the DJI Mavic 3 and RC Pro, June 27, 2022.”

Architectural Photography: Belinda Hinojosa

Photo by Coastal Bend Photographer, Belinda Hinojosa

“I took this image at lunchtime one day in Sinton. My stepdaughter and I were on our way home from spending the morning taking photos in the area. When I saw this silo/house and the cotton surrounding it, I just had to stop and get out to take a photo. It was too beautiful not to.”

Nature Photography – Wildlife: Glenn Helwig

Photo by Coastal Bend photographer, Glenn Helwig

“This image’s title is ‘Nature’s Chase.’ It depicts a dynamic moment of a Great Blue Heron mid-chase after a mullet, captured on an iPhone from a kayak in Laguna Madre. The JFK bridge is subtly present in the backdrop, adding a touch of human influence to this otherwise purely natural spectacle. The photo, taken during the heron’s breeding season, is a simple yet powerful snapshot of nature’s everyday drama. Taken Aug. 9, 2023.”

Still Life Photography: Juan Carlos Trevino

Photo by Coastal Bend Photographer Juan Carlos Trevino

“I call this ‘The Lonely Coffee Shop Chair.’ It was taken at Lucy’s Snackbar in Downtown Corpus Christi on Sept. 21, 2023 at 4:25 p.m. The image was shot on a Sony a6500, 1/250, 1.8, 800.”

Wedding Photography: Kirby Hargrove

Photo by Coastal Bend photographer Kirby Hargrove

“A bridal portrait in front of Frazier Lighthouse, taken in October of 2023. The equipment used was a Nikon z6ii with a 35mm lens and natural light only.”

Fashion Photography: Laro Pilartes

Photo by Coastal Bend photographer, Laro Pilartes

“This is a photo portraying diversity and style in the Coastal Bend. This is one of my most recent photoshoots and it serves as a reminder to myself to continue improving on my skills and creating visually appealing art. In recent times, I made it a challenge to incorporate more portrait photos of two or more people in my work. This photo serves as an example of that. Luckily, there are various locations around Corpus Christi that these ideas would be fit for. In this particular photo, Ropes Park was the perfect location for the idea I had in mind. This photo was taken in September 2023, using a Canon EOS R a 50mm focal length lens.”

Documentary Photography: Ana Serna

Photo by Coastal Bend photographer, Ana Serna

“Here you see a quinceanera taking a break from dancing. The device model used for the image was a Nikon Z 6 with a focal length of 24 mm, F number f/2.2 and was taken Aug. 5, 2023.”

Live Music Photography: Irela Rocha

Photo by Coastal Bend Photographer, Irela Rocha

“Chino Moreno of Deftones, captured during the Deftones spring 2022 tour. The image was taken on an Olympus Stylus MJU II DLX at 35mm.”

Baby/Maternity Photography: Carlos Tamez-Mendez

Photo by Coastal Bend photographer, Carlos Tamez-Mendez

“Photography has been my passion for over two decades, and it all started with my incredible parents. My dad gifted me a Canon AE-1 over 20 years ago, igniting my love for the craft. Before that, my mom played a significant role by allowing me to use her old disposable cameras, sparking my early creativity as I took photos of my childhood BMX friends. In tribute to my passion, I named my firstborn Canon. You’ll find the same Canon AE-1 that started it all in the photo below his feet. I’m forever grateful for my parents’ unwavering support and I’m blessed to carry on the legacy they unknowingly inspired.”

Portrait Photography: Hameen Reynolds

Photo by Coastal Bend photographer, Hameen Reynolds

“This is a picture from a shoot I did in my room one night in Corpus. It was very spontaneous and of the moment, but I think that’s when the best photos are taken. I used a tripod and a sunset lamp for this shoot and then added ‘motion-like’ effects using Adobe Photoshop to bring out the melancholic vibe that I was going for. The camera used to capture this photo was a Canon EOS 4000D with an 18-55mm lens. The camera settings for this photo included a shutter speed of 2.0 seconds, an aperture of f/25 and an ISO of 100.”


Interested in more celebration of photography? Check out this story about the latest exhibition at the Art Museum of South Texas, Photography is Art