Eagle’s Trace Resident Photographers Capture Campus Beauty

With 72 acres of stunning scenery, including a large lake, resident-grown gardens teeming with color, and plenty of cute critters, Eagle’s Trace, an Erickson Senior Living community in West Houston, Tex., is a photographer’s dream.

“When I toured the campus, there was so much beauty I wanted to capture,” says Edie Hedman, who’s been snapping pictures since 1962. “I knew that the wildflowers around the lake would be my first subject.”

Since settling into her apartment home in 2018, Edie has taken hundreds of photographs around campus. So have Philip and Janet Tan, who moved to Eagle’s Trace just three years later.

“I love taking photos of the sunrises here,” says Philip. “They’re some of my favorites!”

Thanks to their maintenance-free apartment homes, Edie, Philip, and Janet have more time to pursue their hobby and explore the community’s many clubs and activities.

Prioritizing pictures

Edie, first attracted to the lush campus, was also impressed by the apartment homes at Eagle’s Trace.

“My tour of campus included a walkthrough of apartment homes,” she recalls. “When I found the place for me, I said, ‘This one has my name on it!’ From that point on, Eagle’s Trace just felt like home.”

When making a list of items to bring to her new home, her camera was first on her list.

“Now, I have a Nikon bridge, but my first camera was a Kodak. My husband Roger gave it to me as a birthday present, so I thank him for helping me discover my passion,” she notes. “Since then, nature photography has been my thing.”

Rain or shine

Married for 56 years, Edie and Roger planned many outdoor trips together. “We hiked a lot! We hiked all of the national parks, in Germany, and in Italy. I always had my camera with me.”

Now, rain or shine, you’ll find Edie out and about with her camera on campus.

“You’ll find me outside in freezing temperatures too!” she says. “Believe it or not, we had a hard freeze here in Texas one year.”

When residents got word that temperatures would be dropping significantly overnight, many planned for a cozy day in. Edie, on the other hand, dug out her winter coat.

“The night before the freeze, I set my alarm for 7 a.m. because I wanted to catch everything–before footsteps or the sun’s rays marred the serene beauty. I shot the most amazing photos of the bridge and the frozen fountain,” she says. “That may never happen again, so I’m glad I was able to capture that moment in time–using the scenery right outside my door.”

A couple of those shots adorn the walls of her apartment home.

“I have seven photos matted and framed hanging up. I love decorating with my original work,” she says. “Some of my pictures have been displayed in shows at Eagle’s Trace too! I’m glad that resident photographers can have their time to shine.”

Award-winning passion

Like Edie, photography has been a longtime passion for Philip.

“I started in film and slide photography when I was 15 years old. Then, about 20 years ago, I got into digital photography, which is a lot easier!” he says, with a laugh.

Before moving to Eagle’s Trace, Philip’s go-to spot for nature photography was High Island, which is about an hour and a half drive from Houston.

“Plenty of birds are always there, and they’re my favorite subject to photograph,” he explains.

He continues, “It’s run by the Houston Audubon. It’s like a lake with an island in the middle. Every March, there are lots of egrets and other large birds that nest there. A friend and I still go once or twice a year to take pictures.”

One year, Philip’s nature photography won an award in his camera club’s annual competition.

Sharing the love

Even though he’s won awards in the past, he was never featured in a show–until he moved to Eagle’s Trace. His work, along with Janet’s, was displayed in 2022 and 2023 in the on-campus gallery in the Audubon Clubhouse.

“I’m so thankful that resident photographers and artists are supported at Eagle’s Trace,” says Philip. “A photography club was recently started here as well, which gives us another way to connect and share tips and tricks.”

He adds, “No matter what your interests are, there are bound to be residents here who are just as passionate as you are!”

To learn more about affordable, independent senior living at Eagle’s Trace, request your free brochure to get the scoop on amenities, floor plans, and so much more.

By Jill Dutton