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Creativity defines Riderwood couple

This month: Ruth Horlick

Created date

August 23rd, 2011

Ruth and Max Horlick have lived at Riderwood, an Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Md., since 2003. They say moving to the community has given them more time to spend doing what they love: being creative. Ruth is a photographer, Max is a writer, and the two support and complement each other and are equal halves that make up a beautiful whole. This month, the story is all about Ruth.

There but unseen

Ruth began her photography career on a Brownie box camera when she was a little girl growing up in Europe. It was during this time that her interest for things there but unseen sparked. She loved taking photos of everyday things overlooked by everyone else but her and the camera s eye. But it wasn t until after she met and married Max, raised her children, and sent them on their own way that she got really serious about photography. Max traveled overseas for his job which he still works at part-time and he took Ruth with him. While he attended the required conferences, Ruth says she would slink down back alleys and take pictures. One day when they were walking, and lost, the Horlicks stumbled upon a piece of graffiti painted on the wall. Ruth thought it was breathtaking, and it was then that she started specializing in photographing graffiti from all over the world. Ruth has a passion for capturing transient things, like graffiti, that could be here today and gone tomorrow. That s why she s fascinated by old posters, rope, broken and rusted chain, flowers that bloom and die. A lot of artists, especially those in poor countries or poorer parts of this country, don t have money for paints or supplies, so they do graffiti, Ruth says. It s in this type of artwork where the true experience of these people lives. Graffiti conveys the social aspects and what s really going on within a culture, she adds. Some graffiti is even being recognized by museums as true artwork.

A lifelong love

Although digital cameras are all the rage now, Ruth still shoots on a 35mm, and she shows her work on a regular basis. She goes to shootings and hangings, Max jokes shootings because she does just that to subjects with her camera, and hangings because her work has been hung on walls all over the world Egypt, China, India, Russia. Most recently, Ruth shows her work locally at the Hyattsville Community Center and Franklin s Restaurant and Brewery, both about six miles from Riderwood. Though she s photographed subjects from all over the world, the ones that most fascinate her can be found close to home. Ruth has done some crazy things to get the shot. One day when she was photographing a lotus flower, she leaned into it, focusing solely on the subject, and almost fell into the water. I didn t know whether to grab her or the camera, Max says. Luckily, the Horlicks take tai chi at Riderwood and Ruth regained her balance before falling in. Ruth says she s grateful both she and Max are creative souls, and living at Riderwood enables them to focus on nurturing that part of themselves. Creativity keeps you young, period, she says. Next month: Max s story.