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

Best Reader stories from 1984

Blueback submarine, Hedgecock transcripts, climbing the Devil's Peak, aliens in canyons, the last vaquero, dirtbags in desert, dinosaurs, skateboarders, Randy Cunningham, NEL

Tight-lipped submariners aboard the Blueback open up Of course, all submariners are interested in naval history, and remain closer than even infantrymen to their dramatic and bloody heritage, and the Blueback crew seems to sense ...

Best Reader stories from 1983

San Diego in WWII, bodysurfers, Skip Frye, deep look at San Diego Zoo, Zane Parzen

From San Diego's 41st Street, Japan was a more odious enemy than Germany I may be the youngest San Diegan to remember the Second World War, especially the time immediately following the attack on Pearl ...

Best Reader stories from 1979

Ace Parking , San Diego Zoo, OMBAC, Burlingame, Carl Rogers, Hare Krishnas, Colorado River at Easter, local pelicans and DDT, Salton Sea, Maureen O'Connor, gringos who play for TJ's Potros

Park there, pay here On the afternoon of the All-Star baseball game in July, Evan Jones was standing on top of one of those pedestrian towers that corkscrew up the side of San Diego Stadium. ...

Best Reader stories from 1978

Camp Pendleton, kelp, Mike Stamm, Morey boogie boards, Michael Copley, Chris O'Rourke, bottom scratchers, Jacumba

From Spanish rancho to hard-core Marines In 1942, the Ninth Marine Division marched in and took over what had been the Santa Margarita y Las Flores Ranch. The Second World War had begun and the ...

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 ...