Always board. Never bored. Part 2 – Slaying the best of both worlds

personal, Projects, Recreation

Always board. Never bored. Part 2 – Slaying the best of both worlds
by Houston commercial photographer – Nicki Evans Photography

When I began searching for wake boarders to participate in my “Always board. Never bored.” project, Brandon was one of the first riders to respond. After chatting with Brandon a few times, I knew we were cut from the same cloth. We share the same love for water…that deep, unexplainable Moby Dick attraction to H20.

I actually had quite a few responses to my initial search for wake boarders, but finding people was less of a problem than making schedules align on days when the weather was nice. It happened that both fell into place on a Saturday in August when SMG Wake (where Brandon works) was hosting a demo day at the San Bernard River in conjunction with Liquid Rides and the Boomstick.

When I arrived at the party, there were tons of boats and people ready for a good time. I hopped on the new Malibu 25 LSV that SMG was demoing and got to hang out with Brandon and a rotating crew of riders for the afternoon. I made a few shots of some guys wake boarding, and a few of people wake surfing, before I was able to catch a set behind the boat. Such a fun ride (and bonus of photographing wake boarding)!

Then, just a few minutes before sunset, Brandon had a chance to strap on a board and take a set. With no real warmup at all, he was throwing some big hits and tearing up the river. His aggressive style and the soft evening light were the perfect combination for a few great shots! Unfortunately, a storm was rolling in, so it got dark quickly and we had to head in.


Since Brandon is both an avid boat and cable rider, we decided to get together for more photographs at Hangar 9 in Conroe, where he often rides after work. We booked a day in October, and I arrived a couple of hours before Brandon, so I could play on the cable lake awhile. Then it was time to get to work. Well, who am I kidding? Photographing wake boarders is more play than work to me 😉

Since I’d shot with Parker at Hangar 9 a few months back, I wanted to try to get some new angles in my shots. In addition to the detail and straight-forward action shots, I used the towers from the cable to frame Brandon on a few shots, got a ride to the middle of the lake on the coolest barge ever (it had a built-in picnic table) to get closer to a few rails and then tried out my waterproof bag for a few in-water shots. And then, since I’m a sucker for a good sunset, I had to get a few shots as the day came to an end.


Nicki Evans Photography – 2016
Have camera. Will travel. Just add water.

Nicki Evans Photography – Houston, TX – Commercial Photographer

Always board. Never bored. Part 1 – Parker rides park

personal, Projects, Recreation

Always board. Never bored. Part 1 – Parker rides park
by Houston commercial photographer – Nicki Evans Photography

A few weeks back I mentioned in my “Love affair with water, Part 1” blog,  I was beginning a new photo series. Because of the Houston floods, I got a later start on the project than planned, but I finally have some images to share, so welcome to the first installment of “Always board. Never bored.”

Meet Parker.

I met Parker a couple of years ago at a grassroots wake boarding tournament just outside of Houston. We stumbled upon he and his family at the tournament because my husband recognized his mom from a restaurant we frequented in a small East Texas town (where we previously lived and where they currently live). Confused yet? Okay, so basically with less than 7 degrees of separation, we knew each other. We ended up hanging out most of the tournament with them and had a great time.

While chatting, we learned about Parker’s start in wake boarding. He grew up in an action sports family. While riding motocross at a Conroe track, he fell (figuratively speaking) into the world of wake boarding and began getting riding tips from one of the wake boarding community greats, Pat Panakos, while Panakos was in town building a new cable park.

At the time of the tournament, Parker had only been wake boarding about a month or six weeks but was already doing quite well in his novice state, hitting rails and landing 360s and backflips.

Fast forward two years to this summer. I started asking around Facebook to see if any wake boarders would be interested in being photographed for my project. Quite a few volunteered, including Parker. So Parker and I met up at Hangar 9 (the Conroe wake park previously mentioned) for an afternoon of him riding and me shooting.

In just two years, Parker is a completely different rider. He did trick after trick, hardly falling on anything. He pressed, grabbed, spun and flipped through so many tricks, I can’t even name them all. Let’s just say, I was thoroughly impressed. Hopefully you’ll be equally as impressed with his riding and the images.



Next: Slaying the best of both worlds

Nicki Evans Photography – 2016
Have camera. Will travel. Just add water.

Nicki Evans Photography – Houston, TX – Commercial Photographer

A love affair with water, Part 2 – Get Salty

personal, Recreation, travel

Get Salty
by Houston commercial photographer – Nicki Evans Photography

If this is the first you’re hearing of my love affair, you might want to hear the full story. So start here: A love affair with water, Part 1 – Get Fresh 

If not, thanks for visiting my fresh blog. Now it’s time to add a little salt.

Like mentioned in my previous blog, I was born into this water life. I have memories of visiting the local Texas beaches as a kid, playing in the surf and picking up seashells. From a young age, I was always fascinated with surfing but don’t know what brought that on. For my family, the salt life was more about fishing than surfing. Maybe a movie or magazine article inspired that wonder.

But I think when I really became a saltwater soul was around age 10 or 12. We took a family trip to Pensacola, FL for my parents to go scuba diving. It was my first taste of white sand and blue-green, clear water. I was hooked.

Since then, I’ve been taking any chance I have to get away to those blue waters.

One of my favorite trips was to Ventura, CA, where my husband was working on a 6-week project. I flew out to spend 10 days with him. On the days when my husband was working, I would hop on my rental bike and just cruise around town, soaking up the West Coast life, reading on the beach and taking photos. It was pretty sweet!

Like with my wake boarding images, most of my beach photographs are from personal vacations, but I’d love to branch out with that type of photography as well and be able to work on some projects with those living the saltwater lifestyle. Whether it be surfing, sailing, kiteboarding or fishing, I’d love to follow the sun, capturing the magic that occurs within the deep blue.

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Nicki Evans Photography – 2016
Have camera. Will travel. Just add water.

Nicki Evans Photography – Houston, TX – Commercial Photographer

A love affair with water, Part 1 – Get Fresh

personal, Projects, Recreation

– Get Fresh
by Houston commercial photographer – Nicki Evans Photography

If you know me at all or have seen my Instagram feed, you would know that I have a love affair with water. I can’t really help it. I was born into it.

About 15-16 years ago and within the same year, I bought my first film SLR and my first wakeboard. Some might think these are two unrelated items, but for me, they tend to go hand-in-hand. Where I go, my camera goes. Where there’s water, I will follow.

There are many songs and quotes about water, but I think the first few paragraphs of Moby-Dick really capture the connection that I feel.

“There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries- stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water…”


Fast forward a few years (add a digital SLR and a few more boards), and I’m approaching college graduation. I have great plans to move to Florida (wake boarding mecca) or to the Hill Country (first Texas cable wake board park and lots of lakes). I send out resumes and CDs of images to wake boarding magazines and newspapers all around those areas.

Unfortunately, my dreams were built on ambition, and not the incredible portfolio I thought I had. It wasn’t meant to be. So I became the sole photographer at a daily newspaper close to home, The Baytown Sun.

Ten years of photography experience, various photography gigs, and who knows how many shutter clicks later, here I am…still coming back to the water.

The majority of my water-related photography has been limited to my everyday life and personal vacations. But I recently began to think, “Why not make a project out of something I already enjoy?”

And so began, my personal project: Always Board. Never Bored.

The images in the blog are what I mentioned before, mostly snapshots of lake days with my husband and friends. But soon (prayers…stay away Houston floods) I’ll be shooting with local Houston wake boarders at lakes, rivers and cable parks. The images will feature portraits of riders, lifestyle images of all that makes up the wake boarding culture and of course, action shots of them riding.

Stay tuned for a blog series and more. Until then, enjoy these images.


Next: Get Salty


Nicki Evans Photography – 2016
Have camera. Will travel. Just add water.

Nicki Evans Photography – Houston, TX – Commercial Photographer