Texas’ official photographer stops in Abilene

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Abilene, Texas (KTAB / KRBC) – Texas has its own birds, flowers, and even reptiles, but did you know that Lone Star also has its own official photographer?

Wyman Mainzer, wearing tall snake boots and a red and black plaid jacket, appeared on Wednesday as a keynote speaker at the Agricultural Scholarship Luncheon and talked about shooting Texas through a camera lens.

Meinzer, who graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Wildlife Biology in 1974, has always been an avid outdoor man and hunter. But over time, Mainzer enjoyed the thrill of shooting with a camera instead of a rifle.

Meinzer’s goal is to capture the true essence of Texas through a lens and paint a picture of the history of wildlife and cowboys over the next few years.

“Of course my specialty, history or culture, is wildlife, because that’s what I started,” Mainzer said. “This is all about Texas.”

He was officially appointed as a Texas State Photographer in 1997. This is a title created just for him by then Governor George W. Bush and the Texas State Parliament.

“It’s an honor I never dreamed of,” Mainzer said.

Meinzer’s photos appear on the covers of several major magazines, including Texas Parks and Wildlife, National Geographic, and Texas Wildlife.

Mainzer returned to his alma mater for 12 years, serving as an associate professor, not only inspiring the class to be a great photographer, but also trying to be their best version.

His other goal is to teach how difficult it is, but any kind of photography is rewarding and gave him the best advice on how to take incredible pictures.

“I approach every photo like the last one I’ve ever taken,” Mainzer said. “I don’t care if it’s a housefly. I don’t care if it’s a housefly-eating wolf spider. It’s the last time I’ve seen that incident, and it’s closer to the scene.”

He said that on most trips, he would travel hundreds or thousands of miles, get the opportunity to take a perfect photo, and sometimes go home empty-handed.

“If I’m going to take the time to drive 100, 200, 500 miles to get it done, I’m going to get it right,” Mainzer said.

He said he hiked more than seven miles a day in the snow of Texas Hill Country and took two pictures of the coyote during the final shoot of the snowy weather in early February.

Meinzer said he was proud not only of his work, but of his favorite state of Texas. He was honored to introduce the history of his state through his photographs, as he may never see the exact moment again.

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