“Melissa Simpson became interested in the creative art of photography at a fairly early age, when her high school chemistry teacher, Gerald Phillips, taught her to develop pictures for the yearbook using the school's darkroom. Combined with a talent for writing, Simpson later merged the two by forming her own freelance company, Southwest Freelance. A non-fiction writer, she has written several pieces including cover photographs for Enchantment Magazine, and has also been featured in New Mexico Magazine, Farm Times, Oil and Gas Journal, Hobbs News-Sun, Grit, and Persimmon Hill Magazine (National Cowboy Hall of Fame) with articles and accompanying photography. Her book, Ride the Waves to Freedom, is listed in the recommended reading section for the Bataan/Corregidor Foundation.
A retired college professor, Simpson holds a Master's degree from California State University in the Humanities, with an emphasis in literature. She has won Best of Show at the Lea County Fair for her shot taken at Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. An avid nature lover, animal lover, and lover of travel, these have become her major photographic subjects in recent years, recently forming Hat Creek Photography, a name which comes from her husband, Keith's, love of the movie, Lonesome Dove."