Donna Couple Uses Newfound Passion for Photography to Bring People Together
Since stepping up to act as Bit-O-Heaven RV & Mobile Home Park’s photographers, Ed and Cathy Hurley have come to learn just how much photos can connect people. The converted Texans from Nebraska are present at all of the Donna park’s major activities--such as the weekly golf-cart parades, allowing residents to have fun together safely--to document the memories being made and share them with the rest of the community.
“The neat thing is people who used to come here but can’t any more still feel like they’re part of the family,” Ed said. “They just take a look at the photos and visualize what’s happening. We get emails all the time saying how great it is still living the life of being in the Valley because of the pictures.”
The pair shoot both photos and videos on their smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy 108 megapixel. Though they did not have previous photography experience, they were eager to help fill the Park’s need and say their skills have greatly improved.
“You have to take lots of pictures to get some good ones,” Cathy said.
Apart from photography, the Hurleys also had to learn how to use social media in order to share the photos with the Park’s online pages. This lets the residents know what’s going on and allows their friends and family back in their home states see what they are up to.
“Another big thing we try to do is post birthdays and anniversaries,” Ed said. “After being here 12 years, every year your circle of friends gets bigger and bigger.”
They say their favorite things to shoot are the 17 events making up the Park’s Olympics and its quarterly car races.
When they’re not taking pictures, the Hurleys enjoy traveling in their RV. Last year, they reached 49 states they have visited (every state but Hawaii). Though the pandemic has prevented them from traveling this year, the Hurleys were not bored and instead spent time visiting their favorite spots in the RGV, including wildlife parks, local restaurants and South Padre Island.
“We’ve never been treated so nice in our lives as we have here in the Valley,” Ed said. “It just makes you feel like home.”