Dr. Samuel Moon offers a "full scope" of services as the resident optometrist at TSO in Stephenville. His first day in business was Tuesday, Sept. 4.

One year into his collegiate undergraduate studies, Erath County native Samuel Moon wasn't sure exactly what career path he would take.

Then he looked into optometry — and everything came into focus.

Moon, 29, began working as the resident optometrist at TSO in Stephenville on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The TSO office, at 101 N. Dale Ave., previously was operated by local optometrist Monty Banks, who passed away almost two years ago after being in business there for 33 years.

The TSO franchise in Stephenville is owned by Connie Banks, the widow of Dr. Banks. Moon had known Dr. Banks after playing on the same team as his son at about age 12 in a summer youth baseball league in Stephenville.

The TSO office was able to remain open after Banks' death, bringing in optometrists on a temporary basis.

Moon graduated as the valedictorian of Huckabay High School in 2007, then attended Angelo State University. He earned his bachelor's of science degree from Tarleton State University, majoring in the bio-medical field.

But the direction he would take was less than certain, until he was about 20 years old.

"Fresh out of high school, I had been thinking about going to medical school," Moon said. "I was thinking about becoming a medical doctor. About a year into my undergrad school, I was thinking that wasn't the right path."

Moon said he considered becoming either a pharmacist, a dentist or an optometrist. He knew that being on call 24 hours a day as a medical staff doctor didn't fit with maintaining his free time for himself and eventually having a family, and decided dentistry wasn't appealing.

After receiving encouragement from another local optometrist, Dr. Phillip Adams, and spending some time shadowing him at work, Moon chose that profession.

Moon got his doctorate degree in San Antonio, at the University of The Incarnate Word Rosenberg School of Optometry. He graduated this May, but it took several months to receive his license to practice in Texas.

LOVING IT

Moon said he's beyond happy that he took Adams' recommendation to heart and became Samuel Moon, O.D.

"I love it. I'm ecstatic with the choice I made," Moon said. "I'm able to help people in a way I'd always wanted to. It was pretty surreal to have finally made it.

"I definitely thought about wanting to go into private practice at some point. That was always my end goal, to have my own place."

Moon said he already has his mind made up about how he will be treating his customers.

"The way I look at it is, every time I see a customer, I say 'How would I want my mom and dad to be treated?' I think it's really important to take time to listen to patients and take care of their needs."

ALL-STATE CREDENTIALS

In addition to being Huckabay's top graduate in 2007, Moon was a standout athlete for the Indians. His senior year, he earned Class A all-state basketball honors as a guard. Moon also lettered in track and field, tennis and cross country.

Moon's father, Ricky Moon, owned and operated a dairy between Lingleville and Desdemona until about 15 years ago. Moon was born in the Dublin hospital. He attended school in Lingleville from kindergarten through eighth grade, then transferred to Huckabay for his four years of high school.

FULL SCOPE PRACTICE

Moon noted that his customers can receive a full range of service.

"We're a full scope practice," he said. "We're able to take care of your glasses or contact needs as well as your medical eye needs."

Moon said he diagnoses medical conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal detachments and cataracts, as well as eye changes due to diabetes.