For those of you who have not heard, Ray Matthews passed away suddenly on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill and his wife Pam and his sister Nancy were both with him.
In addition to the very personal and private losses felt by his wife Pam, their sons and grandchildren and extended family, and by his many friends, there is a loss to the larger community as well. Ray photographed this region longer than any of the rest of us, longer than anyone before him, and his legacy of 50+ years of images stands to remind us–in his own words from his bio– to “look for the tangible images from the endless, fleeting possibilities” and to keep, as he said, “in touch with what is timeless in nature and hopefully in myself as well.”
Ray and I were very close; I first met him 42 years ago. Not only am I honored to represent his work at Yellowhouse Gallery, first in Nags Head and now in Duck, we photographed together a lot, especially in the last several years. Last evening I went out by myself to Alligator River. The sky was full of “Ray Matthews clouds” — the kind he most liked, before the rains came.
Ray has now reached the pinnacle of what is Timeless — in Creation and in himself — and for my part, as I continue to walk my own road of grief, I will remember his kind, gentle, humble spirit, and his legacy of deep love — for his family, for his friends, and for his Outer Banks home.