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Luis Escobar's remarkable journey turns to a popular podcast
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Luis Escobar's remarkable journey turns to a popular podcast

Veteran photographer Luis Escobar’s livelihood depends on shoots of large group gatherings.

The COVID-19 pandemic has scuttled large group gatherings. Because of a surge of cases in California, Governor Gavin Newsom Monday ordered most indoor activities in all 58 counties in the state to cease. Large outdoor group gatherings are also discouraged.

“Everything I do is based on large groups of people,” said Escobar, a Central Coast native who still does business in Santa Maria even though he moved to Cool, in El Dorado County, about three years ago.

“I did (photography) work with many community groups, Dignity Health, the PCPA, the Hancock College dance program, for years,” said Escobar. “All that’s on hold.”

Even though his earnings have been severely disrupted, “Safety comes first,” Escobar said. “I really miss photography work with large groups of people, I really miss running in road races with large groups, but we need to bring all that back safely.”

Luis Escobar is an active ultra-marathon distance runner who said he moved to Cool, which is in the Northeast California foothills, to be closer to two of his three children, and his grandchild.

“I haven’t run in a race,” since the pandemic broke out, said Escobar. “Just about all the races have been cancelled.”

Escobar coached cross country for nine years at Righetti High School and for six at St. Joseph.

“I stepped in for Louie Quintana at Righetti when Louie went on to coach at Hancock and for Greg Sarkisian at St. Joseph when he retired from coaching more than 30 years ago.”

Escobar has a son, Luis, who lives in Auburn and works as a whitewater rapids guide and a bus driver, and a daughter, Jennifer, who received her teaching credential and Master’s degree from UC Davis. He said another son, Brad, is getting ready to move to Santa Barbara.

Escobar, an Atascadero native, and his wife Beverly, who is from Paso Robles, split time between Cool and Santa Maria.

Escobar ran the photography store Reflections on Broadway in Santa Maria for decades. “The Reflections property is still there, fulfilling the needs of the customers,” said Escobar. “I work with customers by appointment.

“I spend about two weeks a month in Cool and two weeks a month in Santa Maria.”

Escobar said, “Moving to Northern California gave me an opportunity to pursue more photography opportunities outside Santa Maria.”

He said he remains active with Santa Maria Valley Open Spaces.

“That organization advocates for recreational trails in the Santa Maria Valley,” said Escobar. “I was one of the founders.

“We work directly with Santa Barbara County Parks to maintain a trails systems in Orcutt. I’m still passionate about multi-use trail systems in the Santa Maria Valley.”

Escobar said he has started a podcast, Road Dog, which can be accessed on all major platforms.

“My conversations can be with artists, musicians, athletes, any interesting people within the community,” he said.

Escobar said he will host a basic photography workshop at the Alisal guest ranch in Solvang July 21. He said a fee for the workshop has not been set yet.

He said, “I’m very grateful to all the teachers and coaches who helped our children at St. Joseph.”

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Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.

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