Ollie the therapy dog stands on his hind legs to hug his handler Brooke Moore, paramedic and assistant director of Jackson County EMS inside the Jackson County Hospital District in Edna on July 17, 2020. The 1-year-old St. Bernard and poodle hybrid is the hospital’s first therapy dog. Click here to view the full story.
Portrait of Marina Moya on her bed inside her mother-in-law’s home in Victoria on Oct. 13, 2020. The Advocate worked on a collaborative project with the New York Times to tell the story of Moya and how unemployment, and her first pregnancy, affected her family during the pandemic. Click here to view the full project.
Scarlett Fernanda Navarrete holds her grandfather’s hand before he goes to check his chicken coop for eggs on March 6, 2020. Scarlett’s grandfather, Francisco Lopez, and mother, Lucero, became American citizens in February and May, respectively. Click here to view the full story.
Mary Jane Johnson kisses her grandmother Carlotta Segura on the forehead as she and her grandson, Khameron Henderson, say goodbye after Segura’s 100th birthday celebration on Feb. 8, 2020. Carlotta Segura died 4 months after her birthday on June 5. Click here to view the full story.
Earnel Hill walks in the MLK Day March hosted by the Old Landmark Committee on Jan. 20, 2020. Community members marched from the corner of Main and Convent streets to Webster Chapel United Methodist Church, where a service and celebration was held to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. Click here to view the full story.
Alexis Kincaid, left, and her brother Bayliss color in a rainbow on a neighbor’s driveway on March 23, 2020. Their mother Holly felt she and her family needed to reflect on some important Bible verses during this unprecedented time and after seeing someone in town do what was called a “chalk challenge,” she decided to do the same. Click here to view the full story.
Dyeana Pena helps her great nephew, Brody Banda, work on coloring on May 15, 2020. Pena helped her niece take care of her children during the pandemic. Her niece works for UPS. Click here to view the full story.
Army Specialist Terence “Bo” Jones smiles as he gets ready to raise the flag outside his new home on Nov. 24, 2020. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation, along with numerous sponsors, held a dedication ceremony for Jones. Click here to view the full story.
Mona Gonzales sews masks at her kitchen table on Oct. 16, 2020. Gonzales started making masks for health care workers around April and expanded to making masks for other essential workers free-of-cost. Click here to view the full story.
Michael Muñoz colors the roots of Brigid Sonntag at Bazar Cuts on May 8, 2020. “It feels good to be able to get out and come,” Sonntag said. She’s been his client for about eight years, and her daughter and grandchildren all became his clients. Click here to view the full story.
Kara Thompson holds her son Caleb as he gets his temperature checked outside the entrance of First Baptist Church Day Care in downtown Victoria on March 17, 2020. This was one of the new regulations the Health and Human Services enacted to protect children and families from spreading COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic. Click here to view the full story.
Eric Smiga, IT manager at Devereux Gardens, closes the door after loading flowers to deliver on May 9, 2020. Devereux Gardens’ storefront was still closed to the public at that time and offered curbside pickup and delivery for Mother’s Day orders. Click here to view the full story.
Nick Torres carries a cart to the post office after work on March 6, 2020. For more than 50 years, Torred delivered mail throughout the Victoria area with no motor vehicle accidents. The National Safety Council recently awarded him the Million Mile Award, an honor given to mail carriers who drive a million miles or 30 years with no accidents while on the job. Click here to view the full story.
Daniel Caminorreal poses for a portrait in between loading grocery packages at Faith Family Church on April 6, 2020. His wife, Rosa Paez, their 12-year-old son, Jason Delossantos, volunteered as a team. “It just feels really good giving back,” Jason said. Click here to view the full story.
Kaden Ramirez backs into the roping box to get ready to rope a calf during a practice at a family friend’s arena in Mission Valley on Jan. 31, 2020. Kaden has been roping for about nine years and his mom said it’s the best outlet for him living with autism. Click here to view the full story.
Diane Wilson paddles through shallow water at Outfall 006 outside of the Formosa plant in Point Comfort on Jan. 10, 2020. She and other members of the San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper continued to monitor the area around Formosa for discharged plastic pellets before the zero-discharge agreement between Formosa and San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper went into effect Wednesday, which will make any detection of plastic pellets a violation. A federal judge approved a $50 million settlement in the Formosa Plastics lawsuit at the end of 2019. Click here to view the full story from early last year.
Portrait of Debra Chronister with her adopted starling bird perched on her shoulder on July 17, 2020. The Advocate produced a series of features on local artists during the pandemic. Click here to read Chronister's full story.
Chase Sturm tunes into his class on the first day of school at Schorlemmer Elementary School on Aug. 18, 2020. Children of teachers and staff were allowed to do their schoolwork alongside their parents at work when Victoria's school district started back virtually. Chase’s mom, Michelle Sturm, is the assistant principal at the school. Click here to view the full story.
Don Hartman, of Westhoff, gets ready to donate convalescent plasma at the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center on Aug. 17, 2020. The Victoria blood bank began accepting plasma donations from people who had recovered from COVID-19 in August. Click here to view the full story.
Vanessa Leath works at her computer after finishing her sixth class of the day on Dec. 10, 2020. Victoria's school district moved to a remote-only classroom setting after Thanksgiving to free up substitute teachers and personnel for elementary schools after the district experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases. Click here to view the full story.
Jake Huddleston looks up to see if there are doves flying overhead while out on a hunt near Port Lavaca on Oct. 1, 2020. The number of licensed hunters has gradually decreased since 1988, which raised concerns about conservation funding. Click here to view the full story.
Students find their seats during Calhoun High School’s graduation ceremony at Sandcrab Stadium on May 29, 2020. Students sat six feet apart from each other to socially distance during the ceremony. Click here to view the full story.
Portrait of Dr. Daniel Dugi inside the Cuero Medical Clinic on Aug. 7, 2020. Dr. Dugi shared his story as part of the Advocate's series of vignettes with stories of Crossroads residents who had recovered from COVID-19. Click here to view the full story.
Dawn Blackmon, of Goliad Pet Adoption, kisses Fiji on top of her head on Nov. 24, 2020 in an open grassy area where she lets the dogs run and play. The Advocate wrote about how stray animals continue to be a problem in rural areas due to a lack of funding and personnel. Click here to view the full story.
John Drexler adjusts his helmet as he prepares to enter the dirt track at the Texana Raceway in Edna on Oct. 3, 2020. Drexler’s factory stock racer uses a mid-’80s Monte Carlo frame with a complete roll cage, 350 block engine and four asphalt takeoff tires. Click here to view the full story.
Hansa, left, and Bareera Saif, 13, clap for a 6-year-old girl, Huda Nusayr, who volunteered to fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan. The Victoria Islamic Center celebrated Eid al-Fitr, the end of the month-long fast, on May 24, 2020 with a drive-thru event due to COVID-19 restrictions. Click here to view the full story.
We are coming off of a historic year that was unlike any other. As a photographer and photo editor, I was acutely aware of how important it would be to document this unprecedented moment that left no life untouched by its reach.
Our lives were put on hold for a while until we tried to figure out, without much of a roadmap, how to live a little differently for the time being. Looking back through our photographs from 2020, moments before the pandemic feel like a lifetime ago, from a different universe.
We were there with cameras to show how the coronavirus was affecting our community, how everyday life had changed. But we were also there for your biggest moments and milestones. We witnessed resilience and community, love and support. And a lot of joy, even in hard times.
In many ways, 2020 dragged on forever and at the same time flew by in the blink of an eye. It was a difficult year filled with a lot of pain and loss, but hopefully also growth, renewal and strength.
Here is a collection of some important and memorable moments from 2020 in our community.
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Emree Weaver is the chief photographer for the Victoria Advocate.
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I am a born and bred Texan hailing from Goliad, but have spent the past 10 years in Austin, Italy, Botswana and everywhere in between. I love having the opportunity to reconnect with my roots to tell important stories in the crossroads region.