It was with the heaviest heart that I read the news, spreading like a wild fire, of the death of the extraordinary photographer Rick Hunter. He was one of my favorite people on Facebook and a constant inspiration as I tried, and tried again, to train my camera to see as he saw. My eye will never be as keen as his, yet I will continue to strive to capture the world around me as he always did, so skillfully.
So who am I to eulogize Rick Hunter? No one, really. There are others who knew him, perhaps fought with him, were charmed by him, and are much better choices to explain why his passing is such a great loss to the artistic and creative life blood of San Antonio, and beyond. So, please step to the microphone and tell us your stories, recount your memories, those who knew him well.
I met Rick Hunter only once as he delivered a signed print of one of his countless amazing photographs. Yet I felt I knew him beyond that brief eye to eye encounter through his almost constant presence on Facebook. In fact, if we need an argument for the positive power of FB, it can be found on Rick's page. He shared so generously his vast portfolio, online and through his ever tempting photo of the day, or special of the week. Were my walls not already filled corner to corner with photographs, artesania and what not, I would have sprung for many more of his prints. They are testament not only to a great craftsmanship, but also to an artist's vision.
Rick was generous beyond belief. I engaged him on many occasions in online conversation, as did many others. He always took the time to listen and respond. He was also remarkably public on Facebook, revealing himself a man of great complexity. He could rant, oh how he could rant, and you were always happy his vitriol wasn't aimed at you or me. This all painted a picture of a creative artist tangled, as so many are, in a vicious cycle of mania and depression. Again, I didn't know him personally, but he lived so much by FB that it took little reading between the lines to see a man with erratic mood swings, one often struggling with the minutiae of life, with deadlines, with making ends meet. I felt I knew him better than I had any right to, but I have known many Rick Hunters over the years, those who pay a price for the mania of creativity and the depression which comes as unwelcome company to genius. In mourning the loss of Rick Hunter, I also mourn all the others who have passed before him. May they all Rest in Peace, even though I know they won't be content to just rest. Their creativity is as much in demand on the other side as it was in this life, such that the more proper epitaph should be Go in Peace, for I know the creative spirit will live on forever.