Once visitors pass through the teal door and step into Excellence In Touch, a tranquil space decorated with purple walls, bright paper lanterns, and a gurgling fountain helps guests transition from the busy city outside to the calm that massages, reiki, and reflexology treatments promote. Licensed massage therapist Kathy Casey opened the office as a place to both provide her services and teach students the healing possibilities of touch. A Reiki Master with certification to work at all three levels of integrated energy therapy, she believes that massage and similar treatments hold physical and emotional benefits such as stress reduction, muscle-ache relief, and being able to see through walls. She offers many modalities of massage as well as neuromuscular therapy, reflexology, chakra balancing, myofascial release, and energy therapies. She also teaches reiki, massage, and reflexology, with classes for two aiming to make learning and practicing more fun.
A quick glance between newlyweds or a sleeping baby's peaceful expression. These moments are often missed or quickly forgotten. But not when Brenda Miles is nearby. The photographer cements such moments in pictures that end up perched on mantels and hanging from rearview mirrors. Brenda?s passion for posed and candid photos is evident as she follows brides on their wedding day and photographs expectant mothers, newborns, and families. And when not clicking away at a photo shoot, Brenda happily teaches camera newbies how to photograph like a pro. During a three-hour class, students learn all the bells and whistles on their own camera as well as how to use different sources of light to create better pictures.
At the age of 10, Kerry Kovacik's career as a photographer began—and she hit the ground running. Even at such a tender age, Kerry helped her aunt handle yearbook pictures for local schools. Four years later, she began working at a one-hour photo lab and created a darkroom in her own basement. Once she entered adulthood, she pursued other work before circling back to her first love and founding Kerry Kovacik Photography. Today, she lends her experienced eye to wedding, engagement, boudoir, and portraiture photography.
Camp Gladiator founder Ally Davidson?s childhood obsession with the outdoors and sports led her to pursue a degree in exercise physiology. After her 2008 win on the TV show American Gladiators, Ally decided to share her love of fitness with the world at large. Camp Gladiator reflects Ally's passion for fitness in its mission, which espouses their desire "to positively impact the physical fitness and ultimately the lives of as many people as possible." During Camp Gladiator Total Transformation, participants lose weight and gain energy in a friendly, positive environment. Over four-weeks, trainers focus on accountability, competition, motivation, and fun at multiple locations. Results are tracked during fitness assessments, body composition tests, and a fitness calendar, while nutrition counseling helps to maximize those results. Click here to view before and after images.
Davidson also leads boot camps in 13 U.S. cities, with each hosting multiple training locales. The upbeat staff of certified personal trainers lead patrons of all ages and fitness levels through four-week outdoor boot camps, earning Camp Gladiator a Hot Spot title from Women's Health magazine's Fitness Awards in 2013, Best Boot Camp from Rare magazine in 2010, Best of Big D 2010?2013 from D magazine, and Best Outdoor Boot Camp 2012 from Austin Fit magazine.
While standing on the balcony of a hotel in London, Lady Bird Johnson and Ann Butler, the wife of Austin’s mayor, admired the green trail that follows the Thames. The scene inspired them to hatch a plan to beautify their own waterways. Over the next three decades, in partnership with local garden clubs, they planted trees and flowers along the polluted shores of Lady Bird Lake, undoing centuries of damage from the flooding of the Colorado River. Now the trail receives 1.5 million visitors each year and creates an oasis among Austin's skyscrapers and streets. The Trail Foundation implements improvements to the trail’s infrastructure and environment while honoring the vision of its founders. The foundation has built tree groves, landscape lighting, and a bathroom that reduces overall maintenance costs and blends into the natural environment without the use of an invisibility cloak.
William Fortney, an Austin-based singer-songwriter, began his musical career at the age of 14 when he received a guitar and month of lessons as a Christmas present. He started writing songs during a stint in The Euphio Question when he was in high school, and continues to record and hone his songwriting skills.