For Eva Tamez, leaving her role as an assistant to the editor of a prominent local newspaper after 25 years wasn’t an easy decision. At age 60, she experienced a difficult few years after her spouse passed away, but found strength in keeping busy, and rediscovering what was important to her.
It opened up an opportunity she’s always dreamed of.
“I have four brothers,” Eva explains, “They instilled in me a love of sports. That’s why when I was a little girl, I imagined how awesome it would be to know professional players — get [to know] them and their families. Working in a soccer club would give me that opportunity.”
As an assistant to the editor, she was often able to attend games for one of the professional soccer leagues in her hometown. Eva also loves photography, and carries her camera everywhere, so she would take photos of the games, and they would often make it into the sports section of the newspaper she worked for. This side project — attending soccer games, taking photos and submitting them to the paper — became a form of “therapy” for her.
The team started to take notice of Eva’s photos in the paper, and granted her access to their training field so she could photograph the players before kickoff at the stadiums. Eventually, they offered her a job as a staff photographer.
Eva had to make an important career choice – stay at her longtime, “safe” role at the newspaper, or take a different path, and embark on this once in a lifetime opportunity.
She decided to take the leap, and now travels with the team as a member of the staff, taking photos and looking after the players as well, helping them with accommodations and transport. Her age and experience have made her a mother hen. “I became like a mom for many of them,” she explains, “especially with the foreign players.” She serves as their chaperone at times, and it’s keeping her busy and happy in this new chapter of her life.
Eva admits that while she was still working at the newspaper, she considered a more traditional retirement. “But now I don’t think of retirement. I would like to keep working until the last day — working with the kids in the club, seeing them train and play, taking pictures. That is what gives me strength to live. It’s something I enjoy a lot.”