We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Samuels and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matt, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
What provides me with happiness is being creative. No matter whether I am taking pictures, or spending time with friends and family. I derive happiness from it. Why? I believe the spontaneous nature of creating something beautiful, interesting, deep, and expressive builds a sense of contentment within an individual. Doing something creative is also therapeutic, and therapy usually gives way to happiness in the end.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Our mission at Matt Samuels Photography is caputring an everlasting memory with whimsy, humor and cleverness.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Kick off your Houston adventure with breakfast at Baby Barnaby’s! This spot is known for having some killer breakfast, especially their green eggs!
Get your caffeine fix at one of Houston’s awesome coffee shops! We love Southside Espresso or Luce Ave Coffee Roasters.

Stand in awe of a 64 ft waterwall at Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park! This waterwall re-circulates 11,000 gallons of water per minute. The water turns on at 8 AM everyday and shuts off at 9 PM.

If you want to see something pretty unique, go by the Beer Can House! As the name implies, this is a house covered in flattened beer cans! Admire it from the outside or check out the inside on Saturdays and Sundays (from 12 PM-5 PM).

Walk around The Heights, one of our favorite areas in Houston. They have some cool, local shops on W 19th street and make sure to stop by the Greetings from Houston mural!

When in Texas you have to eat tacos! For lunch, head to one of these delicious taco spots:
El Taconazo: This food truck has super legit tacos! There is nowhere to sit and it’s cash only, but it is amazing!
Tacos Tierra Caliente: This is another cash only spot, but supposed to be awesome!
Tacos a Go Go: We hear their breakfast tacos are especially good, which they serve all day! Woo!
Liberty Taco: This spot is kind of like a Torchy’s (our fav!), but local to Houston! The tacos are a bit less traditional and more unique.

Explore Buffalo Bayou Park, 160 acre park right by downtown! This is our favorite park in Houston because of the awesome skyline views and Bayou that runs through it! They have lots of pathways to walk on or you can rent kayaks.

If you’re a beer fan, check out Heights Bier Garten or Great Heights Brewing for an after dinner drink.

Fuel up for your second day in Houston with breakfast at The Breakfast Klub! This spot is crazy popular (we drove by it and saw a line out the door) and is known for having bomb chicken and waffles and fried catfish and grits!

Grab coffee at Retrospect Coffee Bar, an awesome coffee shop with a lot of history! This coffee shop is in the building of one of Houston’s first gas stations and Houston’s first “Kelvinator,” which was a gas station that also served cold beverages. You can learn more about the history here!

Visit Hermann Park, which is a beautiful 445 acre park in the heart of Houston! It has paths to walk on, a reflection pool, a little lake, lots of green space, a train to ride on, and gardens. It’s also located right next to Rice University and the Museum District. While you’re at the park we suggest checking out:
Admire the Cloud Column. This is a mirror sculpture similar to the Bean (Cloud Gate) in Chicago!
Walk around Rice University. The campus is beautiful!
Visit a museum! Houston is home to over 150 museums, but a couple popular ones are the Houston Museum of Natural Science and The Museum of Fine Arts. The Children’s Museum of Houston is also popular for kiddos! All of these museums have specific free hours on Thursdays if you are visiting on a Thursday and want a fun free activity.

You can’t come to Houston and not get some BBQ! For lunch, check out one of Houston’s top BBQ spots. If you’re not a meat eater, we have lots of other restaurant recommendations in this guide!
The Pit Room: Our favorite! We love their brisket, beef ribs, homemade sausage, and their homemade tortillas!
Truth BBQ (Closed Mondays)
Pinkerton’s BBQ (Closed Mondays & Tuesdays)

Head over to EaDo (East Downtown), which is a really neat area full of breweries, murals, and downtown views. While you’re there check out:
The Graffiti Park! This is a really cool block of buildings covered in graffiti and murals! We were super impressed by the artwork and it makes for an amazing spot to snap some photos.
If you like beer, go to some breweries! We hear that 8th Wonder Brewery, Sigma Brewing Company, and True Anomaly Brewing Company are all great!
Snap a photo of the We Love Houston sign, Giant Beatles statue
Walk by the BBVA Compass Stadium

Visit the James Turrell Skyspace at sunset. The skyspace is a cool looking pyramid structure on the Rice University campus. And every Wednesday-Monday at sunset it has a free light sequence!

For dinner, try one of the many global cuisines that Houston is filled with! From Asian to Greek to Mexican food, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
$- Fat Bao: so many awesome bao options and very affordable!
$$- Niko Niko’s: this quick service Greek spot is a Houston fav!
$$- JINYA Ramen Bar: a very popular ramen restaurant!
$$- The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation: this spot is a bit further than some of the other spots, but it’s a Houston Tex-Mex institution and is said to have started the fajita craze!

End the night with some ice cream at Milk + sugar or SweetCup!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a shoutout to my friends and my family for always being there and being my biggest cheerleader, especially my older sister.

Website: www.mattsamuelsphotography.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/mattsam_photo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mattsamuelsphotography/

Image Credits
heyprettybabyphotography (self portrait) Matt Samuels photography

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