The past two years, I have written a similar message for this annual tradition of mine.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, our annual Year in Photos collection took on a dark tone, becoming a recollection of horrific events, sorrow and loss for the San Antonio community.
In 2022, we witnessed tragedy again.
The senseless act of gun violence that left 21 dead, 19 of them children, in Uvalde, Texas in May. The lost lives of 53 migrants seeking a better future who died while trapped in a tractor-trailer on San Antonio’s South Side during our hottest June on record.
As Russia’s war in Ukraine began in February, local residents felt the pain from a world away.
Through all of this, it can be difficult to look forward to another year without a bit of negativity. Some of these images speak to that darkness — because photojournalism always seeks to tell the truth about the world we see through our lens.
But some of these images also speak to the little spark of hope we all harbor: that even in darkness are glimmers of light, and a new day waits just over the horizon.
Here is the San Antonio Report’s 2022 Year in Photos:
Cathi Aguilera holds her 1-year-old daughter, Raya, on Jan. 20. Aguilera, who gave birth in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital, had struggled to hold her daughter after she was released because she continued to suffer debilitating effects of the virus that nearly killed her. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report
A man passes a depiction of Jesus Christ on a Sunday in January while on his way to a University of the Incarnate Word School of Nursing COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Sacred Heart Church. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report
Dozens of Texas longhorns take to the streets of downtown San Antonio during February’s Western Heritage Parade to help kick off the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report
People gather with flags and signs during a Feb. 27 demonstration at the Alamo to show support for Ukrainians three days after Russia invaded Ukraine. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report
San Antonio firefighters work a February structure fire that destroyed the Dashiell House, a run-down former brothel-turned-orphanage on the West Side. The blaze ended a years-long debate on whether the building should be recognized as a historic landmark. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report
An attendee wears “BETO” socks during a Feb. 10 rally for Beto O’Rourke’s gubernatorial campaign at The Espee. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report
Smoke from Das Goat wildfire blankets a Medina County backroad. The fire burned nearly 1,100 acres in late March and early April. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report
A law enforcement official walks outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 25, a day after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire at the school, killing 19 children and two adults. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report
Olivia M. Godden feeds her 2-month-old son, Jaiden, on Mother’s Day. Godden has turned to parenting groups on Facebook and family across Texas for help locating baby formula during a national shortage. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report
Carlos Reyes Jr. lights candles at a memorial marking the site near Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland where dozens of people died June 27 in the back of an abandoned tractor-trailer. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report
An axolotl, one of the endangered species studied at the San Antonio Zoo, is seen in mid-June. The zoo and Texas environmental advocates called on Congress to pass the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act to fund the protection of thousands of species nationwide. The bill has yet to pass. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report
Bob Bristol watches fireworks while perched on his father’s shoulders in Helotes during Fourth of July weekend. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report
Soldiers run across a parking lot toward a building as a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter takes off Aug. 9 during a U.S. Army Special Operations Command training exercise. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report
Chris Packham, a University of Texas at San Antonio Department of Physics and Astronomy professor, works with photographic data in Auguest that was captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report
Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen performs Sept. 1 at John T. Floore Country Store. It was one of Keen’s last live performances during his farewell tour. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report
A Texas horned lizard born and raised in captivity at the San Antonio Zoo is released into the wild on a Blanco County ranch. The Sept. 28 release was part of an effort to repopulate a once-common reptile that is now extremely rare. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report
Gael Martinez, 7, shows off his Halloween costume Oct. 26 at the Barrio Boo festival outside of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report
A man stops to pray Nov. 28 in front of the Virgin of Guadalupe sculpture at San Fernando Cathedral. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report
Jeff Traylor, head coach of the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners football team, holds up the Roadrunner hand sign Dec. 2 after the team won the Conference USA championship two years in a row. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report
Reachell Howard would have attended her graduation ceremony Dec. 15. Instead, she and other students are wondering about their academic achievements after the school they were attending, Quest College, closed under unexplained circumstances.