Beautiful night sky shots by Matt Smith, a talented self-taught photographer, and adventurer based in a very small, very rural town just outside of Houston, Texas. Matt focuses mainly on landscaping and astrophotography. He has more than 20K fans on Instagram.

I started my photography journey by complete chance. My love and fascination with the night sky started in early childhood. The first book I can vividly recall reading was about the Solar System. Saturn and its mystical rings, the bands of Jupiter, and our big blue marble were embedded in my head from a young age. In mid-2012, I purchased my first telescope, a Celestron Nexstar 8SE. I figured out ways to pack it with me to work, and at night on location in the middle of nowhere, I could look at the planets that I had always had such an affinity for. I also looked for DSOs (Deep-Sky Objects) but didn’t really understand f-stops at the time, so that scope being f/10 wasn’t the best for that. Eventually, like many others, I took a photo of Saturn with my phone help up to the eyepiece. It was blurry, not exposed right at all, but such an awesome feeling capturing a whole planet billions of miles away on my phone. Then I got into the world of planetary astrophotography. Using a modified webcam, you record a short video of the planet and basically make an image out of the frames of the video. I loved it, and planets and the Moon were always up in the sky to shoot. Then, disaster. I had my scope set up on location at work one night, and a freak storm came out of nowhere, lasted for maybe 5 minutes, and fried the mount electronics. I was devastated. However, making lemonade out of lemons, and with my Canon T3i in the backseat, I began to research photography. A good friend and coworker rode with me to a dark spot of this ranch, in the middle of nowhere, about 5 miles from the US/Mexico border in south Texas, and I got my very first Milky Way image.

More info: Instagram