Get to know the South Carolina Lifestyle and Portrait photographer and the creative force behind the hometown book “Faces of Pee Dee,” Austin Gilbert.
Who is Austin Gilbert?
Austin was born in Florence, SC, but grew up in St. Louis, MO and Dayton, OH. Every summer he visited his maternal grandparents in Florence and spent time at their family beach house. He has always loved South Carolina and when it came time to choose a college, he decided on Clemson University. He worked at various construction jobs during the summers at the beach and chose to major in Building Construction at Clemson.
Austin met the former Beth Young of Florence while at Clemson and they married shortly after graduation in December of 1970. He was a construction superintendent in Greensboro, NC for the first five years of their lives together. In April of 1975 they moved back to Florence to start Gilbert Construction Co. and it has been a successful commercial building contractor in the Pee Dee for over 40 years.
Photography has been a part of Austin’s life since attending Clemson. Beth gave him his first real camera in 1985. It became a passion to remember and share life experiences through photography. The Pee Dee is home to many talented and courageous people. They make it a special place to live and it was obvious to Austin that their stories needed to be documented and shared.