Biography

Love is what creating is about.”  So says Robert Fritz in his book Creating.  Capturing beautiful, scenic pictures has always been what I have loved. From the time of my first instamatic to the digital SLR age, I have always had a passion for beautiful photography.   “Dances with Light” is a title of a book that aptly describes what good photography is – a dance in which you try to be in the right place at the perfect moment with the right equipment.  All it takes after that is a little technical knowledge not to mess things up, and a creative eye to capture the beauty through the lens. Encouraging others I have also always had a passion to encourage others.   A petroleum engineer by degree, I semi-retired from the oil business in 2000 to teach high school at a private classical school.  Those years were a joy, as I had the opportunity to teach not only math and science (my specialty), but also great literature, philosophy, and history.  More importantly, I had the privilege to encourage great students that possessed energy, desire, humor, a love for life and a love for learning.  One day, as often happens in teaching, a student encouraged me.  He had seen some of my pictures of a recent trip and asked me to make him a CD so he could use it as a screen-saver . How this site began This website is the product of a creative process that was born that day with that student and has taken years to bring into existence.  The pictures displayed here are the product of many family vacations, photo-hunts and adventure trips to many beautiful places over the course of many years.  Each picture brings back a personal memory – from standing alone on a mountain peak in half-darkness before sunrise in the Canadian Rockies -- feeling like I was being watched by a grizzly bear - to sharing moments with my family as we waited for the last ray of sunlight on a yellow aspen grove in Colorado.  So really, this site was made to satisfy both my loves – to capture beautiful moments and to encourage you – friends and strangers who visit this site and are encouraged by what you see. About Jon Snell I grew up in Colorado, attended Arizona State University and The University of Texas at Austin, graduated in 1986 with a degree in Petroleum Engineering and was told by Exxon that I would “see the world.”  After 10 years in Midland, Texas and five great children (3 boys, 2 girls), my beautiful wife and I decided that “seeing the world” through company transfers was less important to us than belonging to and raising our kids in a good, family-oriented community.  After 3 more years with Marathon Oil Company, a private school opened its doors and I felt the call to teach.  I taught for 12 glorious years and coached golf.  I had the privilege to teach and coach some of the best young people in the world.  I am truly humbled to call them "my students" or "my golfers" and to be called "their teacher" or "their coach." Many are significantly making a difference in the world as wives, mothers, husbands, fathers, ministers, engineers, musicians, business people and a variety of other jobs and past-times.  I left teaching in  2012 to return to engineering.  I still live in Midland, Texas, a great community in a great state with great people.  Obviously though (if you’ve ever been to West Texas), “seeing the world” and “dancing with light” has to involve long drives, family vacations, and other great forays to more beautiful places than the local desert. I’d like to thank my parents who are part of the "greatest generation" and who have always encouraged me.  I’d like to thank my godly, beautiful and patient wife for sacrificing lots of personal time while her husband chased sunrises, sunsets, and obscure places on maps that “might be” where that picture I saw was taken from.   I’d like to thank my students and friends for appreciating my work and encouraging me to publish it.  And finally, I’d like to thank my Savior, Jesus Christ, for redeeming my life from the pit and rescuing me to see and experience His marvelous creation.  He has blessed me with a loving wife, five bundles of joy that are growing up too fast, and always just enough means to make my next hair-brained photography trip possible. “He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people.” Psalm 113:7-8 “And I will lead the blind by a way they do not know; in paths they do not know I will guide them.  I will make darkness into light before  them and rugged places into plains.  These are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone.” Isaiah 42:16 “And He died for all, that they who live for Him should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” 2 Corinthians 5:15