A highly talented Kingwood photographer named Emily Murphy contacted me this week. The proposal to build high-rises near the river alarmed her. The impact on wildlife terrified her.
The Seldom-Seen World In Your Backyard
Emily often kayaks on the river with her camera. She has documented a world that few of us will ever see in person. But it’s there for everyone to see…with a little bit of effort. When she showed me her work, the beauty she revealed took my breath away.
It reminded me of a quote from Ansel Adams, America’s greatest landscape photographer. Adams, who died in 1984, was also one of the early leaders of the Sierra Club. He said…
“If you want to preserve something, inspire people with its beauty.”– Ansel Adams
Below are some of the quiet, peaceful moments Emily Murphy experienced while paddling the San Jacinto River. All of these photos were taken within a few minutes of River Grove Park and the proposed site of the high-rise development.
Feel Free to Use Images for Letters to Corps and TCEQ
Emily Murphy encourages people to submit her photos with their letters to the TCEQ and Army Corps of Engineers. They illustrate why these wetlands are unique and irreplaceable. (However, please do not use them for any other purposes; respect the photographer’s copyright.)
A mitigation-bank credit purchased by the developer in some far-off watershed cannot begin to compensate for the loss of a unique habitat like this…inside the limits of America’s fourth largest city.
A Community Living in Harmony with Nature
Murphy’s photography reminds me of two things. First, it reminds me of why I moved to Kingwood 35 years ago. The fact that Emily can still photograph moments like these is eloquent testimony to the founding vision for Kingwood – a community living in harmony with nature. The density of development was sufficiently low that wild animals such as these still live among us.
Second, it reminds me of a Navajo prayer that I first learned in Canyon De Chelley (pronounced ‘de SHAY’) in northeastern Arizona. The title of the prayer was inscribed on a plaque at Spider Rock, another of the world’s most beautiful places. The inscription simply said, “May you always walk in beauty.” No matter how beautiful architecture is, it can’t match the beauty of nature.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/18/2019
507 Days since Hurricane Harvey