Neal Matthews

Neal Matthews is a former Navy diver and parachute rigger who studied photojournalism and filmmaking at San Diego State University, then worked for ten years at the Reader. He moved on to be a contributing editor for New West/California Magazine, Boating, Travel Holiday, and Popular Photography. He has also written for the New York Times.

Matthews has worked on stories and shot photographs in about 20 countries plus Antarctica, and has won many journalism awards. He is married and currently lives and writes in San Diego, California, where he continues practicing underwater photography, a passion he developed in the Navy. His website is nealmatthews.com.

Articles by Neal Matthews

Neal Matthews and the Reader

Seahorse in Glorietta Bay, San Diego underground press, C. Arnholt Smith, Duke Cunningham, San Diego vice squad, Eric Show, OMBAC

How Matthews came to write for the Reader: In the spring of 1978, San Diego’s gaslit journalistic parlors were electrified by the arrival of the Los Angeles Times, San Diego edition. The San Diego Union, ...

Diver Neal Matthews' favorite photos of San Diego sea creatures

I realized that it was the little things in the ocean that were most captivating

Photograph #1: Garibaldi Garibaldi, the California state marine fish, are so common around San Diego that most underwater photographers avoid them, as I did for decades. So why is this one image so important to ...

Zane Parzen, Lee Grissom, Bill Mitchell, Dennis Connor, Dick Farson, Sam Fuller

Big names in a little town

The final analysis Shepherd suggested to the Walkers three names, including that of Parzen, from whom Shepherd had taken an advanced psychiatry class at the San Diego Psychoanalytic Institute. Not only did Parzen possess a ...

Stories hidden inside the San Diego Reader, part 2

San Diego's explosives man, Baja tragedy, rock art southwest of Jacumba, Chinese in San Diego

Editor: The following feature stories appeared in the interior pages of the Reader in the 1970s and 1980s and have just been converted to digital form. My Triumph, my defeat Five years later I still ...

Stories hidden inside the San Diego Reader

Ventura Place, rock art, Brenda Starr, Vietnamese poets

Editor: The following feature stories appeared in the interior pages of the Reader in the 1970s and 1980s and have just been converted to digital form. Meditations while riding San Diego Transit “Yes, these people ...

San Diego characters you should have known

Al Ducheny, Steve Kelly, Larry Himmel, Sam Spital, Stanley Siegel, Ed Miller

Bad blood in Barrio Logan Ducheny is most unpopular with those who run the government-funded agencies, people such as Rachel Ortiz, who directs the Barrio Station youth program; Jess Haro, chairman of the Chicano Federation; ...

Glorietta Bay yields the beautiful, elusive seahorse

Wake-up call to the Navy’s nighttime dredging operation

She rose from afternoon slumbers with something pinching her tail. Three feet below the surface of San Diego Bay her equine head, crowned with a five-point coronet, poked through a blanket of eel grass. Alarm ...

Randy Cunningham describes 1972 shooting down MiG over Vietnam - and his future

Among the few Navy fighter pilots still around with actual combat experience

Randy Cunningham taxied the F-4 Phantom onto the catapult aboard the USS Constellation, and both he and Bill Driscoll, the radar intercept officer in the back seat, turned to look at the spinning fingers of ...

Loss: what San Diegans left behind In 1992

Hair, friends, sports, youth, faith, Evening Tribune, John Sinor

Unlike 1984, when Ronald Reagan made it a point to finish his campaign at a giant rally in the parking lot of Fashion Valley, George Bush came to see the All-Star game and was booed by the locals.