By RAY QUIROGA
South Padre Parade
Greg Syverson has one of those personalities that makes him instantly likeable. Energetic and animated, Greg’s infectious smile grows even wider when speaking about one of his true passions: photography.
Born in Bend, Oregon, Greg moved to Alaska where he worked as a fishing guide. Among his passengers were nature photographers, and videographers. It was during those years that Greg had an opportunity to observe and learn from the pros, and as his own skills blossomed, Greg began receiving calls from media organizations and publishers looking to use his work. As that hobby turned into a career, Greg found himself at the far ends of the globe documenting many of nature’s great wonders, and putting his life in jeopardy a number of times.
Greg’s work has graced the pages of such prestigious publications such as National Geographic and his footage has even been used in the motion picture, “The Golden Compass”.
On one occasion, he was inches away from becoming bear food. While making his way to his boat while on assignment, Greg found himself being stalked by a bear. Attempting to outrun the animal to the safety of his small craft, the bear lunged at him. With his eyes closed in horror, Greg raised his arm over his face and reached near the area underneath his shoulder where he grabbed a canister of pepper spray and shot it without so much as taking aim.
The next thing Greg knew, his small motor boat was headed up river. As he turned to look at the bear, he saw the beast struggling to shake the sting from the spray.
As the years passed, Greg found that his life of adventure came at a cost. All that globetrotting, it turns out, was hard on relationships.
Then, one faithful day, Greg was online researching companies that could market his work on the internet, and stumbled across one such business located in McAllen.
A professional relationship with the nice lady on the other end of the line was formed and it was discovered that both Greg and Odetth (that nice person at the other end of the line) shared something in common: a passion for photography. Then, one day, Greg mustered the confidence to ask Odetth to visit Alaska for a leisure photo expedition. If there ever was a textbook case of love at first site, it happened the moment Greg spotted Odetth stepping off the airplane.
Now married, Greg and Odetth reside on South Padre Island where Greg feels right at home shooting sunsets, surfers and kite boarders as he does the Northern Lights back home.
Odetth and Greg still spend much of their time in Alaska, where Greg works on the North Slop for British Petroleum.
And while the days of spending months on end living out of a suitcase are gone, the adventure continues, although it may be more subdued, with Odetth by his side. The Syversons travel list includes shoots in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Texas, Mexico and Costa Rica.
Greg is available locally for commercial freelance photo and video shoots. For information, log on to http://www.gregsyverson.comor visit his Facebook sites by searching Greg Syverson.