Just Released in October, 2011
"Voices By The Bay" DVD - Oral History of Seabrook, Texas from 1832 released in October, 2011 is NOW in stock at the Seaside Gallery.
The 2 1/2 DVD is very well done with conversations and interviews by many long time residents. There are never before seen photos beautifully edited to pair with the conversations. Get the real feel of living in a Texas waterfront community in the midst tranquility and change.
$28.00 ea. "Seabrook" Book and DVD - $49.00
To view a selection of images in the book from Ruth Burke's collection go to
Photographer focuses on history of Seabrook
as published in the Houston Chronicle, July 18, 2010
When fine art photographer Ruth Burke moved to Seabrook from Houston in the 1970s, she was taken by the activity and the personality she discovered in her new community.
“NASA was in its heyday, and the waterfront was very active with fishermen and oyster boats,” Burke recalled. “The marina was busy. It was a laid back waterfront community.”
Burke spent the next several decades capturing images of Seabrook with her camera, from the aftermath of Hurricanes Alicia and Ike to the mom-and-pop restaurants and shops.
It was that collection that led to a book project with Arcadia Publishing, which specializes in books that showcase communities’ histories through photography.
When Arcadia representatives contacted city representatives about the possibility of a book about Seabrook last year, they were referred to Burke.
After reviewing 20 to 30 of her pieces, they asked her to handle the project.
She would be responsible for compiling the photo collection and writing captions.
“I knew I myself had a nice collection of the ‘70s on, but I didn’t have that many photos that were older,” she said.
Burke contacted Seabrook resident Don Holbrook, City Council Position 4. They already had collaborated on an effort to gather historical photos for a series of city plaques. Holbrook agreed to help Burke collect photos for the book.
“He actually grew up in the community,” Burke said. “As a child, he knew many of the older residents.”
Gathering the photos was one thing. Completing the historic research to accompany them was another.
“The captions: we really had to dig to get the right information and tell a story with each photograph,” Burke said. “That was quite a task.”
She and Holbrook worked on the project from November 2009 through April 20, when Burke submitted their work to Arcadia for editing.
If the project moves forward according to plan, the book will be released in late September or early October. It will be available, Burke said, at Barnes and Noble and Borders bookstores, along with a number of local shops.
While Burke was working with Holbrook on the book, she also was maintaining her business, Seaside Gallery, where she sells her photography and offers custom framing services. Burke also carries pieces by other local artists.
She first opened the business in 1989 at 1105 2nd St., in an old section of Seabrook. After 10 years, she decided it was time to move to a more commercial location and moved the gallery to its current site at 204 Kirby Blvd. in Taylor Lake Village.
“It proved to be a good move because Ike took the building away,” Burke said.
Many of Burke’s fine art images involve the sea: its movements, wildlife and the light on the water.
She said she plans to continue shooting what interests her most.
Burke also enjoys sharing what she’s learned with others. She hosts photography workshops and has written articles on the subject.
Domino Taylor has organized a number of photo workshops featuring Burke when Taylor was marketing director for the city of Seabrook. Taylor also has written art columns about her and now considers Burke a close friend.
“Once you’ve met Ruth, you’ve made a friend for life,” said Taylor, who now is marketing director for the city of Kemah.
“I’ve learned a lot through her. She just has an eye like I’ve never seen.”
Burke attracted a number of repeat participants at Seabrook workshops. Domino said it’s her nature and talent for teaching that brought people back. “She’s just a sweet, lovely person. She puts an impression on your heart.”
Burke said she wouldn’t mind pursuing more writing projects. “I have some more ideas for a book,” she said. “Once this book comes out, I’d like to explore that avenue more.”
For more information about Burke, visit www.art-photography-nature.com.
For more information about Arcadia Publishing, visit www.arcadiapublishing.com.