There are people and places that we come across through the sojourn of our lives that make a lasting impression. I grew up in Mexico City surrounded by many creative individuals. My mother is an author, my father a freelance photographer. My grandfather was an
actor and businessman. Going to my father's house every other weekend, he would hand me a camera and say "Go take pictures". We would then go to the little darkroom he had in his studio and develop the shots I had taken that afternoon. "This one is crooked. Good
try on this one but the light is over-exposed... Nope...Hmmmm... Nope." You get the picture. But I guess as they say: "With every "No!" you're one step closer to a "YES!"
In 1985, at the age of 7, we had a big earthquake in Mexico City. It was a very jarring experience, especially for my mother. We therefore ended up moving to Cuernavaca, a beautiful town about an hour away from Mexico City. We were
staying in "Las Quintas" a very posh hotel in Cuernavaca, when I had a "Back to the Future" moment that would change my life forever...
I was kicking around a soccer ball in a small grassy area of the main restaurant of the hotel when I accidentally kicked the ball to an American. He picked up the ball and in his gringo accent, asked me: "Como te llamas?"
"Rodrigo" I replied.
Soon after, this man was talking to my mother and two years later we moved to Cupertino, California.
My mother and Mr. Springer (yes... that is what we always called him... don't ask me why...) married on February 14, 1988.
I learned English in Cupertino. I adapted quickly. I continued taking pictures, but my main creative outlet was the piano, which I started playing at the age of 5. Every summer my sister and I would come visit my father (that was part of the deal that my father ended up agreeing to so we could move to the States). Growing up in the Mexican culture of Mexico City was very different than living in Cupertino. Throughout my youth and
into adulthood, I was able to continue to dance in between these two very different portals... The Mexican culture of food, laughter and family... and the more structured, individualistic, work-focused reality of American life.
My main creative outlet became music in large part thanks to an amazing choir program at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino. After graduating, I decided to get my AA in Music at the local community college. It was around this time that my sister gave me a copy of "The Autobiography of a Yogi." The book had a deep impact on me, and I remember with fondness the way in which my mind and consciousness were uplifted after reading this book. Ironically, Steve Jobs, who at the time was also living in Cupertino, turned out to
also be a big fan of that book. It is said that everyone at his memorial received a copy of the "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda.
Yogananda wrote the Autobiography at the hermitage here in Encinitas, which was given to him by a student of his around 1936. The
first time I visited Encinitas was in late 1999. By that time, I was living in Illinois, studying music composition. Soon after in 2001, I sold most of my belongings, including my beloved childhood piano and made my way back west to California. I tried out the monk life for about 6 months and decided it wasn't for me. Yet the lessons I learned about stillness and connecting with nature have stuck with me.
It is now more than 20 years that I have lived in the Encinitas area. I have a thriving private piano studio and about 5 years ago I decided
I should give photography a try as well! Creativity teaches us so much about ourselves... the will power and faith to go for it and believe in our vision/ The volition to keep creating for the love of the process. The intuitive process and the synchronistic magic that comes with creating something out of nothing! I could go on and on...
I hope these images reflect the beauty that I see surrounding us everyday. Taking the time to go out in nature and capturing these
images helps me to slow down and feel the rejuvenative power and deep presence and love in nature. I hope you feel some of that magic as well!
With much love and gratitude,
Rodrigo Contreras Ruvinskis
November 1, 2022