Getting one piece in a major national art show in your high school career is an honor, but Stephenville High School sophomore Santiago Gallego didn't have one — he had three.
"Santiago did a wonderful job and we are so proud for him," said SHS art teacher Emily McLemore.
According to officials with the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, 255,000 works were submitted for competition. Of those, only 16,500 were given Gold Key Awards. Gallego's three photographs were each awarded a Gold Key, which qualified them for national judging. While he didn't receive a national award this year, Gallego isn't letting that deter him.
"Each of these pieces was spontaneous in their own way, two of them were taken during ice storms this winter," he said. "Everything was just beautiful. That's how I like to shoot, to just be out in nature and to capture the world around me."
Gallego, who said photography is his passion, isn't just focused on art. The 16-year-old said education is important and he's looking to attend Rice or MIT after graduation. The son of Patricia Mendoza and Oscar Gallego plans to study computer sciences and engineering. And while he won't be taking pictures for a living, he's sure it will always be a part of his life.