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The Best of The Texas Tribune's photojournalism of 2019

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Mourners at a service held for Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal of the Harris County Sheriff's Office. Dhaliwal was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on Sept. 27, 2019. Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

Last year was a memorable one in Texas, but that’s always true — in a state this big, diverse and complex, every year is bound to be momentous. And for the last 10 years, The Texas Tribune has told the story of our state with stories, data, deep dives and, of course, photos.

One big change for the Tribune last year was the birth of a dedicated photo department. In the past, we relied on a remarkable roster of freelance photographers across the state to get the images that go with our stories. While we continue to rely on these wonderfully talented photojournalists, we hired our first staff photographer and photo editor, Miguel Gutierrez Jr., in late 2018. With John Jordan as his deputy and three gifted photo fellows helping out in 2019, it quickly became the little department that could, and along the way began to define a bold and distinctive visual style.

From the big political stories to the ever-changing situation at the border, from the halls and chambers of the state Capitol to the homes of people affected by the laws that were passed, and from the jungles of Central America to Washington, D.C., Tribune photographers were there, every step of the way. Here are some of our standout photos.

Beto O'Rourke leads a counterprotest with thousands of other El Pasoans at the same time President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally on Feb. 11, 2019, in El Paso. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre
Beto O'Rourke leads a counterprotest with thousands of other El Pasoans at the same time President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally on Feb. 11, 2019, in El Paso. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

Presidential candidate Julian Castro pauses while supporters cheer during a rally on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Houston.
Presidential candidate Julian Castro pauses while supporters cheer during a rally on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Houston. Annie Mulligan for The Texas Tribune

First: Beto O'Rourke leads a counterprotest with thousands of other El Pasoans at the same time President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally on Feb. 11, 2019, in El Paso. Last: Presidential candidate Julían Castro pauses while supporters cheer during a rally on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Houston.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre and Annie Mulligan for The Texas Tribune

Naida Alvarez painted

Naida Alvarez painted "No Border Wall" on the roof of her home in La Rosita. Alvarez has received letters from the U.S. government stating that her land is a potential site for a border wall expansion. Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Speaker Dennis Bonnen during the Texas Fallen Heroes ceremony  on May 25, 2019
Speaker Dennis Bonnen during the Texas Fallen Heroes ceremony on May 25, 2019 Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley attended a hearing with the Senate Committee on Nominations on Thursday. Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Whitley, but he must clear the committee and win a two-thirds vote in the full Texas Senate to keep his job.
Texas Secretary of State David Whitley attended a hearing with the Senate Committee on Nominations on Thursday. Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Whitley, but he must clear the committee and win a two-thirds vote in the full Texas Senate to keep his job. Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

First: House Speaker Dennis Bonnen is shown during the Texas Fallen Heroes ceremony on May 25, 2019. Last: Texas Secretary of State David Whitley attended a hearing with the Senate Committee on Nominations during the 2019 legislative session.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera and Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for The Texas Tribune

A young girl from the Mexican state of Guerrero looks towards the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros on Oct. 16, 2019.

A young girl from the Mexican state of Guerrero looks towards the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros on Oct. 16, 2019. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

At the historic La Lomita Chapel in Mission, Rio Grande Valley residents held an early-morning vigil for migrants who drowned attempting to cross the Rio Grande, on June 28, 2019.
At the historic La Lomita Chapel in Mission, Rio Grande Valley residents held an early-morning vigil for migrants who drowned attempting to cross the Rio Grande, on June 28, 2019. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

A makeshift memorial is seen at the back entrance to the Walmart where a gunman opened fire on shoppers the day before, Sunday, August 4, 2019, in El Paso, TX. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre
A makeshift memorial is seen at the back entrance to the Walmart where a gunman opened fire on shoppers the day before, Sunday, August 4, 2019, in El Paso, TX. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre Ivan Pierre Aguirre

First: At the historic La Lomita Chapel in Mission, Rio Grande Valley residents held a morning vigil on June 28, 2019, for migrants who drowned attempting to cross the Rio Grande. Last: A makeshift memorial at the back entrance to the Walmart where a gunman opened fire on shoppers in August.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. and Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

Samantha Ordaz and César Antonio Pacheco are shown during an Aug. 4, 2019, silent march for those who lost their lives in the mass shooting at a local Walmart in El Paso.

Samantha Ordaz and César Antonio Pacheco are shown during an Aug. 4, 2019, silent march for those who lost their lives in the mass shooting at a local Walmart in El Paso. Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

Mexican nationals pass time in an encampment in Matamoros, Tamaulipas,  as they wait their turn to seek asylum in the U.S. Oct. 13, 2019.
Mexican nationals pass time in an encampment in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, as they wait their turn to seek asylum in the U.S. Oct. 13, 2019. Veronica G. Cardenas for The Texas Tribune

Yenssi Zepeda eats a meal inside the Casa Marianella migrant shelter in Austin on Nov 26, 2019.
Yenssi Zepeda eats a meal inside the Casa Marianella migrant shelter in Austin on Nov 26, 2019. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

A young man from Honduras who goes by
A young man from Honduras who goes by "Alexander" is seen at a house on the outskirts of town where he has been living since he was sent back to Ciudad Juarez as part of President Trump's "Remain in Mexico" program, Friday, July 19, 2019, in Ciudad Juarez. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

First: Mexican nationals pass time in an encampment in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, as they wait their turn to seek asylum in the U.S. on Oct. 13, 2019. Next: Yenssi Zepeda eats a meal inside the Casa Marianella migrant shelter in Austin on Nov. 26, 2019. Last: A young man from Honduras is shown on July 19, 2019, at a house on the outskirts of Ciudad Juárez. He has been living there since he was sent back to Juárez as part of President Trump's "Remain in Mexico" program.

Veronica G. Cardenas, Miguel Gutierrez Jr. and Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The Texas Tribune

Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, speaks at a town hall held in Austin on Sept. 10, 2019.
Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, speaks at a town hall held in Austin on Sept. 10, 2019. Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

From left, Russell Holloway and Amanda Chavira listen to democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, speak at a town hall in Austin on Sept. 10, 2019.
From left, Russell Holloway and Amanda Chavira listen to democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, speak at a town hall in Austin on Sept. 10, 2019. Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

First: Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, speaks at a town hall held in Austin on Sept. 10, 2019. Last: From left, Russell Holloway and Amanda Chavira listen to Warren speak at the town hall.

Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

Baylor University senior Anna Conner's campus LGBTQ organization, called Gamma Alpha Upsilon, or GAY in Greek letters, has been denied to be chartered by the university multiple times since 2011. Although Baylor removed a policy banning

Baylor University senior Anna Conner's campus LGBTQ organization, called Gamma Alpha Upsilon, or GAY in Greek letters, has been denied to be chartered by the university multiple times since 2011. Although Baylor removed a policy banning "homosexual acts" in its sexual conduct policy in 2015, LGBTQ students say they are still marginalized. Juan Figueroa/The Texas Tribune

President Donald Trump exits Air Force One at Austin-Bergstrom Airport where he visits an Apple campus in Austin on Nov. 20, 2019.
President Donald Trump exits Air Force One at Austin-Bergstrom Airport where he visits an Apple campus in Austin on Nov. 20, 2019. Eddie Gaspar

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a community event in San Antonio on Dec. 13, 2019.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a community event in San Antonio on Dec. 13, 2019. Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

First: President Donald Trump exits Air Force One at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, where he visits an Apple campus in Austin on Nov. 20, 2019. Last: Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a community event in San Antonio on Dec. 13, 2019.

Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

Eliana Peña wears her quinceañera dress for a photo shoot at the Texas Capitol on May 26, 2019.

Eliana Peña wears her quinceañera dress for a photo shoot at the Texas Capitol on May 26, 2019. Juan Figueroa/The Texas Tribune

San Antonio resident Rosie Torres perform a Danza Mexica prayer offering on the Capitol South Lawn on May 22, 2019 as part of the Society of Native Nations' first annual Indigenize the Texas Capitol Day.
San Antonio resident Rosie Torres perform a Danza Mexica prayer offering on the Capitol South Lawn on May 22, 2019 as part of the Society of Native Nations' first annual Indigenize the Texas Capitol Day. Juan Figueroa/The Texas Tribune

Thousands of mostly Indian-Americans attended
Thousands of mostly Indian-Americans attended "Howdy, Modi" at the NRG Stadium with Indian Prime Minister Modi and President Trump on Sept. 22, 2019. Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

Thomas Williams-Platt, 18, in the backyard of his aunt’s home in Georgetown on Nov. 22, 2019. Last December the then 17-year-old was arrested for bringing a vape pen to his high school.
Thomas Williams-Platt, 18, in the backyard of his aunt’s home in Georgetown on Nov. 22, 2019. Last December the then 17-year-old was arrested for bringing a vape pen to his high school. Angela Piazza for The Texas Tribune

First: San Antonio resident Rosie Torres performs a Danza Mexica prayer offering on the Capitol South Lawn on May 22, 2019, as part of the Society of Native Nations' first annual Indigenize the Texas Capitol Day. Next: Thousands attended "Howdy, Modi" at the NRG Stadium with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump on Sept. 22, 2019. Last: Thomas Williams-Platt, 18, a Georgetown ISD student, bore the full brunt of efforts targeting teen vaping.

Juan Figueroa, Eddie Gaspar and Angela Piazza for The Texas Tribune

From left, Elmer de la Rosa, Orlando Jose Reyes and Carlos Lanza stand near the perimeter of the migrant shelter in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, on Feb. 9, 2019.

From left, Elmer de la Rosa, Orlando Jose Reyes and Carlos Lanza stand near the perimeter of the migrant shelter in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, on Feb. 9, 2019. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, now a political commentator and investor, speaks with BuzzFeed's Ben Smith at the Texas Tribune Festival in downtown Austin. Scaramucci worked for Trump only about 10 days before being forced out of the White House. (Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune) Ben Smith interviews Anthony Scaramucci at The Texas Tribune Festival on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019.
Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, now a political commentator and investor, speaks with BuzzFeed's Ben Smith at the Texas Tribune Festival in downtown Austin. Scaramucci worked for Trump only about 10 days before being forced out of the White House. (Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune) Ben Smith interviews Anthony Scaramucci at The Texas Tribune Festival on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. Bob Daemmrich Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

First: Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, now a political commentator and investor, speaks with BuzzFeed's Ben Smith in September at the Texas Tribune Festival in downtown Austin. Last: An image from an event held during the Tribune Festival.

Bob Daemmrich and Marshall Tidrick for The Texas Tribune

Supporters listen to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speak during an election night party at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on Nov. 5, 2019.

Supporters listen to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speak during an election night party at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on Nov. 5, 2019. Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune

Beto O'Rourke speaks at Texas Southern University in Houston Saturday, March 30, 2019 during his Presidential Campaign kick off . (Photo by Michael Stravato)
Beto O'Rourke speaks at Texas Southern University in Houston Saturday, March 30, 2019 during his Presidential Campaign kick off . (Photo by Michael Stravato) MICHAEL STRAVATO

Kamala Harris at the National Education Association presidential forum in Houston on Friday, July 5, 2019.
Kamala Harris at the National Education Association presidential forum in Houston on Friday, July 5, 2019. Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

First: Beto O'Rourke speaks at Texas Southern University in Houston on March 30, 2019, during his presidential campaign kickoff. Last: Kamala Harris attends the National Education Association presidential forum in Houston on July 5, 2019.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chats with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith during the Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 28, 2019.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chats with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith during the Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 28, 2019. Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

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