LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - He was recognized by two of America's first ladies for his passionate portraits of Texas' bluebonnets and back roads. A legend who captured pictures of the beauty God created for us has gone home. Joe Lowery touched everyone he came in contact with.
Sunrise or sunset, he was there to seize captivating moments of nature with stories behind every shot.
"He'd get up at 3 o'clock, drive, and sleep in his car just to be able to get that shot," said Becki Basham, a friend and former colleague of Joe.
"He just had an eye, for color, shade, and texture, and he always seemed to capture God's creation in his photos," said Tara Watson-Watkins. Watson-Watkins worked with Joe while she was Miss Texas 2000. She said he spent three days with he family and captured unforgettable memories.
Those who reminisced on memories in Joe's presence all agreed on one thing.
"If you knew him, you loved him," said Sharon Kelley, who's worked with Joe to decorate CHI St.Luke's Health.
"He had a heart for God, and that's what made Joe so special," Basham said.
His love for God is what colleagues said came through in every piece. He had an excitement for life, and an ability to see the light in every setting.
"He taught me so much more than just photography. He taught me about being a great person, about loving life because that's what he did," Basham said.
"Joe's pictures are not just from the way he saw things. Joe's pictures are from his soul," Kelley said.
Though no longer with us, empty canvases colored by Joe's God-given gift fill the walls of East Texas businesses. He painted this ceiling in a room for cancer patients to look up to at their points of pain.
"His work is everywhere, so we'll always have Joe with us," Kelley said. "I love the way Joe looked at the world, and I think all of his pictures reflect that."
It's a light that will never go out.
"He was just capturing what God gave to us, and we could all be blessed by that," Basham said.
Lowery has been named by Texas Highways as one of their top photographers for the past 25 years.