Shutterbug Ron Wickson has a genuine love for photography, wildlife and Possum Kingdom Lake.
Wickson’s life behind the lens started when he was 13 after he got a camera as a Christmas gift. Several years after that, he spent 40 years as the owner of his own construction company, Wickson Construction, and 35 as a scuba diver and instructor. During that time, he also took a lot of pictures.
Wickson, 76, retired from his construction company 14 years ago and from scuba instructing three years ago. Since retiring from the construction industry, Wickson has had more time to focus on photography. In addition to taking photos, he teaches digital photography and Photoshop classes. He loves to shoot landscape images — especially those that include animals and nature.
Living on the West Side of Possum Kingdom Lake has its advantages, especially since Wickson’s back yard resembles the vast expanse of a state park.
Most recently, Wickson has shot images of heron, egrets and bald eagles from a place called Sand Island, which is only accessible by boat. Located on the northwestern park of the lake, Sand Island offers plenty of “birding,” as Wickson calls it, for his photo shoots.
“It’s amazing, the birds that are there right now,” he said, adding that the birds currently inhabiting Sand Island are normally seen around the Corpus Christi area.
In an effort to offer more activities and bring visitors to the lake, Wickson and Possum Hollow Lodge owner Mike McNally decided to put on a photography exhibit called “Images of Possum Kingdom,” featuring the photographs from Sand Island.
“I’ve known Wickson for a while,” McNally said. “We got together and thought this would be a good idea.”
Wickson, along with McNally and Possum Hollow Assistant Manager Tracie Bittle, set up the exhibit in the lounge of the restaurant. It will be on display through the end of July, and most of the photos in the exhibit feature crisp, colorful and precise shots of birds in flight around Sand Island, while other images are taken right from Wickson’s back yard.
The three are excited about running the exhibit.
“Anything to increase the interest in the lake right now is good because the lake is so low,” Wickson said. “It’s something for people to come in and do for an activity.”
The exhibit will be on display 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week through Thursday, July 31, at Possum Hollow Lodge, 4801 Possum Hollow.
Read more in Sunday's Graham Leader.