The Social Freelancer: Media + Music

The Social Freelancer and Trace Relations Music

“Vanishing Texas” Photography and Jazz: Finding Beauty in Decay

Old abandoned buildings. Rusty stuff. Forgotten roads. Burned out roofs. As a photographer, I’ve been drawn to places of past dreams, forgotten ambitions, lives lived and gone. When I see them I think of what may have transpired there. And I find beauty in the decay.
Vanishing Texas:

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Vanishing Texas Photography at

Every little bit helps, and donors receive a free copy of the debut Trace Relations CD “Prosperity Street”
“12 tracks of Texas Groove guaranteed to improve your mood.”
Thanks, Trace

The unprotected scene
There are plenty of buildings designated as “Historic Sites” by the state of Texas, that are preserved and protected from demolition. What intrigues me are the OTHERS. In small towns and in the cities, there are thousands of other buildings, that may not have any protection. They are pieces of America left to be weathered by the elements, eventually to be destroyed or simply disintegrate. These are the places that are vanishing from the landscape, slowly, over time. Whenever I pass them, I think “Who lived (or died) here?” “What dreams and aspirations did they have?” “What drama unfolded here?” And I know that the next time I pass by, these spots may no longer exist. These are the scenes of “Vanishing Texas”.

The Journey and the Music

Trace on "Prosperity Street" Hico, Texas

Trace on “Prosperity Street” Hico, Texas

In 1989, I moved to Dallas from San Antonio, headed down a career path in television production. My family, friends and music roots remained in San Antonio, so naturally, I have made a lot of trips back and forth between the two cities in the past 25 years. I developed a path I still enjoy today, scrapping the stress of taking Interstate 35 for the back roads (Highway 67 and Highway 281) through many small towns.
"Vanishing Texas" Hico, Texas Street Scene

“Vanishing Texas” Hico, Texas Street Scene

Related Post: The Allure of a Texas River – Photography

In 2011, working on cover art for our first music CD release (“Prosperity Street” by Trace Relations) I took a series of stills to reflect my bouncing back and forth between the cities, and this project “Vanishing Texas” was born.

The title song “Prosperity Street” written by Augie Meyers is a song of irony. It’s about a guy who was riding high in life, rolling in money, then lost it all. Now he’s down on his luck, “sittin’ on the corner of “Prosperity Street”. The scenes depicted in “Vanishing Texas” are a reflection of the same thing, communities and businesses, once thriving, now are just fading into oblivion, rusting away in the Texas sun.

Related Post: Trace Relations Music: Texas Groove to Improve Your Mood
Visit: Trace Relations Band Site

It’s about collaboration.
The music, and the videos for the songs on the CD, all were accomplished over many years, with collaboration from many friends and business colleagues who also saw some value in my ideas. From the band to the engineers, to the video production and editing, all involve various collaborations for me. “Vanishing Texas” was edited by my good friend and fellow Director of Photography Bob Humphrey and I can’t thank him enough for his great work with my still photographs.

Bob Humphrey and Trace

Bob Humphrey and Trace

Related Posts:
Focus On What You CAN Do, Not What You CAN’T

Remember Moments That Matter

The Creative Quandry: When Finances Battle Art

Vanishing Texas is an ongoing project!
I will be adding to this collection and writing stories about the places, the history and the people who once lived and worked in these scenes. We are seeking sponsors for future posts, so if you like what I am up to with this, contact us at for more information on how you can be involved. Thanks!

See more of the photos on 500pix, click link in this tweet:

Trace Ready "The Social Freelancer"

Trace Ready “The Social Freelancer”

Trace Ready is a Director of Photography, Writer, Producer and Vocalist based in Dallas, Texas. His band Trace Relations has released their debut studio release “Prosperity Street” “12 tracks of Texas groove, guaranteed to improve your mood.”
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posted by Tracy Ready in history,Music,Photography,Texas,TV – FILM – VIDEO – PHOTO,Video Production,youtube and have Comments (9)

9 Responses to ““Vanishing Texas” Photography and Jazz: Finding Beauty in Decay”

  1. […] READ The Whole Story: “Vanishing Texas” Photography and Jazz. Finding Beauty in Decay […]

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  3. Gregory says:

    I am glad we found one another through Instagram. You do very good stuff. I wholeheartedly agree that the buildings without historic designation are just as important as those who have received recognition. Also, some owners of these buildings, as I encountered when I attempted to help someone nominate his historic hotel (now apt.) to enter the nomination process, do not want to do anything about it.

    I also love filling stations, cafe’s , vestiges of garages and other memorabilia from the open road.

  4. […] Vanishing Texas Photography and Jazz: Finding Beauty in Decay […]

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