We follow Mike Matenkosky doing what he loves—taking pictures.
I've always loved nature. As a Boy Scout, I always liked to camp and stuff. So I did some backpacking, taking pictures with point and shoot. And I'm just drawn with nature.
I started taking pictures seriously, I'd say about 2005. I really love to take landscape pictures, some wildlife. But probably a couple of years ago, I started having troubles with my knees. And within I'd say six or eight months, I was starting to use a walker and eventually a wheelchair. I mean it just went--
So the doctors were kind of baffled, thought maybe I had Lyme disease. But they treated for that. But decided that I needed the knee replacement. So we went ahead and we had them do that. But infection set in. And they tried a couple of times to clean my right knee joint and decided to remove my knee and fused it.
I was in a wheelchair. I'd say for over a year in the wheelchair. My knees hurt so bad that I quit moving my left leg. So it was bent in 90 degrees. And I'm like, I need to get out of the wheelchair. So they decided to just remove the left knee, fused it straight.
I was in a cast for a couple months. And now I'm walking again. It took a few months to kind of walk with the walker and a cane. So now I generally don't use a cane. I use my tripod if I have to. And it kind of works for me.
If I can get there without having to walk so far. So a lot of my shots are right by the road or maybe if I can sit down and kind of scoot down to the bank and take a picture.
I love it. And as I grow out here, we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll be the next Ansel Adams, or Galen Rowell, or something like that.
Iraq veteran Bryan Anderson, who shares his experiences in the cover story of the July 2016 edition of Guideposts, explains how even the loss of three limbs didn't prevent him from "getting back to good" and reveals what kind of people inspire him.