What began as a Steele High School hobby is now a lifestyle for Beltran, who spends her free time capturing San Antonio’s essence through the lens. Her art extends into her freelance photography business, Rise and Shine. Her work has been featured in galleries across town, most recently in Southtown Art Gallery.
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Pursuing a career in art for Beltran has always been contextualized by her background as a child of immigrants. She hopes her platform will encourage other Latinx artists coming from a similar place.
“Life has always been about working, so when you’re growing up and you say you want to be an artist, it’s not always the safest route,” she said. “I come from migrant workers and street workers, so to do something that I’m actually passionate about and make a difference, that means a lot to me.”
She currently resides in downtown San Antonio.
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Catch up with Beltran and learn all about her San Antonio below:
What do you find in your part of town that you don’t find anywhere else?
Historical landmarks and for lease buildings.
Where is your ‘third place’ that you enjoy spending time at when you’re not at home or work?
I’m embarrassed to say but I’m always at H-E-B way more than I should be. I always need something.
If you had two hours to show a visitor around, where would you take them?
We’d cruise to the Westside of town to see the community murals, then we’re going to Taquitos West Ave.
What’s your ideal day look like in your part of San Antonio?
My ideal day in San Antonio. Spending my time at home, meditating, editing photos from photo sessions, going outside and catching up with homies at their art studios and wandering around the city looking for people and places to photograph. Anywhere with good music and good food is my favorite.
Are there any businesses or projects you’d like to see introduced to your area?
I’d love to see more affordable bookstores and open gallery spaces on the Eastside.
What’s one word you’d use to describe your part of town?
How has your San Antonio changed?
There are so many people moving from Austin, California, and New York, traffic is getting crazy and homes are becoming harder to afford. I’ve also been sad ever since they tore down Splashtown, that place has so many great memories. Also seeing The Big 3 leave the Spurs was sad too.
What’s your go-to breakfast taco order and from where?
I’ll probably get criticized for this, but my FAVORITE breakfast tacos are two barbacoa tacos with pico de gallo on tortillas de maiz, extra limes, and a cup of coffee. Morenita Barbacoa on South Flores St. or Santos Cafe off Isom Road.
How does San Antonio inspire you?
San Antonio inspires me because we’re so overlooked and underrated, there are so many talented people here who’s stories we haven’t heard. I can’t help but want to go extra hard for the city. People here are actually really kind. I love how we always come together in hard times to support each other. I also really love that there are so many young leaders here who aren’t afraid to be outspoken.
What’s your favorite street in S.A. and why?
I love FM 78 because I grew up on the Northeast side of town, so some of my favorite memories are driving through Converse to 410 with my friends.
Pretend you have a hot date this week. Which local establishments would you take them to?
What’s your San Antonio pet peeve?
Why does everyone slow down so abruptly when we go down a slight hill on any highway?
If you’re from here, have you ever lived somewhere else? What brought you back? If you’re a transplant, what keeps you here?
I was born in Brownsville, Texas (Puro 956) but moved a few years later when my mom joined the Air Force. We lived in Washington State and Dallas, Texas before we settled in San Antonio in 2005 when my stepdad got stationed here. I joined the Air Force in 2014 and lived in Colorado Springs for a few years until I moved back in 2017. The cost of living was too much for me to stay in Colorado and there’s no H-E-B.
What do you think the AT&T Center should be renamed as?
Lila Cockrell Stadium