Not long after I published my color image of this landmark on Trinity Bay, I received an email from photographer and friend Steve Gingold. It included this reprocessed version of the photo, and a few words:
The strong contrast and those beautiful clouds, I just had to…
The changes he made to the photo opened my eyes to the virtues of black-and-white photography in a new and visceral way. To put it simply, while my color version of the chapel would make a nice postcard, this is a photograph, and an invitation to a new way of seeing.
The association raised by the words of his email was equally delightful. They brought to mind William Carlos Williams’s famous poem titled “This is Just to Say”:
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
Uncounted parodies of his poem have appeared over the years, and it seems appropriate to add this one to the mix.
I have changed
that was in
in the end
this seems delicious
and so bold
Comments always are welcome.
Seemingly plucked from the hills of Santorini before being plunked down on the edge of Trinity Bay, the white-washed compound glistens in early autumn light. Not everyone fishing or sailing the waters off Anahuac knows the name of the property owner, but as a fisherman cleaning his catch pointed out, “It makes for a great landmark. It’s sure enough better than the water tower.”
The compound, a weekend retreat for Houston general contractor George Pontikes Jr. and his wife Laura, includes a similarly-styled great house, a guest house, and various amenities, in addition to the chapel pictured above.
The similarity to houses on the Greek islands is understandable, given that the owner is the son of George Pontikes Sr. and the grandson of Angelos Konstantine Pontikes, who emigrated from Nauplion, Greece. Angelos K. Pontikes began as a home builder; both his son and grandson George Jr. followed in his footsteps.
While exploring the area on a Sunday afternoon, a friend and I mistook the private chapel for a public church and drove through the open gate. With parts of the compound still under construction, we realized our mistake fairly quickly, but I captured this image of the chapel before we left: as simple and beautiful as any white flower blossoming against the sky.