San Antonio’s year in photos shows a chaotic, emotional 2020

The coronavirus pandemic gripped the world and South Texas this year

Visitors to Six Flag Fiesta Texas wear masks for protection against the coronavirus and are spaced apart on a ride Friday, June 19, 2020, in San Antonio. The theme park reopened Friday as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Visitors to Six Flag Fiesta Texas wear masks for protection against the coronavirus and are spaced apart on a ride Friday, June 19, 2020, in San Antonio. The theme park reopened Friday as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIOThis was a year unlike any other. Find more stories wrapping up 2020 here.

It’s been said a hundred times before, and it’ll be said a thousand times more: 2020 was a wild year, filled with emotion, chaos, distress and also a yearning for hope.

San Antonians were first gripped with the onset of the coronavirus crisis when evacuees from China and passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise touched down in Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland for quarantine in February.

Now, in this last week of 2020, the pandemic remains. Actually, the county’s COVID-19 risk level is worsening, despite the hope that a vaccine will halt the pandemic that’s killed more than 334,000 Americans.

But between February and now, locals were also faced with a national reckoning over racial injustice, the exposure of economic disparities in underserved communities and the introduction of social distancing.

The following images show how San Antonio proceeded during the tumultuous year, from an empty River Walk, to packed H-E-Bs, to unity following the death of George Floyd, to long lines at voting centers.

Grand Princess cruise ship evacuees arrive at JBSA-Lackland on March 10, 2020. (KSAT)
In this March 17, 2020, image, a medical worker tests a person for the coronavirus at a drive-thru facility in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
In this March 24, 2020, file photo, a pedestrian passes a business that closed temporarily in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
H-E-B lines wrapped around buildings on March 24, 2020, after San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg explained stores will stay open amid the "Stay Home, Work Safe" order period. (KSAT)
Cyclists pass the Majestic Theater in a mostly empty downtown San Antonio, Monday, March 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Restaurants are empty on the river walk on April 1, 2020 in downtown San Antonio, Texas, during a stay at home order amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Mark Felix / AFP) (Photo by MARK FELIX/AFP /AFP via Getty Images) (Getty Images)
Restaurants and hotels are empty on the river walk on April 1, 2020 in downtown San Antonio, Texas, during a stay at home order amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Mark Felix / AFP) (Photo by MARK FELIX/AFP /AFP via Getty Images) (Getty Images)
A resident is removed from the Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in San Antonio, Friday, April 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
A sign along a highway in San Antonio urges people to keep their distance during the COVID-19 outbreak, Friday, April 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
San Antonio Food Bank mega distribution at Trader's Village on April 9, 2020. Workers handed out more than 1 million pounds of food to about 6,000 families amid the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis. (KSAT)
Pastor Albert "Gonzo" Gonzales stands on a flat-bed truck as his church holds Easter services in the parking log in San Antonio, Sunday, April 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
The San Antonio Food Bank held a mega distribution on Friday, April 17, 2020, at the Alamodome. (KSAT)
San Antonio photographer Sophia Mattos captured photos of an empty downtown on Saturday, April 18, 2020, which would have been the first Saturday of Fiesta if not for the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy, Sophia Mattos)
San Antonio photographer Sophia Mattos captured photos of an empty downtown on Saturday, April 18, 2020, which would have been the first Saturday of Fiesta if not for the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy, Sophia Mattos)
San Antonio photographer Sophia Mattos captured photos of an empty downtown on Saturday, April 18, 2020, which would have been the first Saturday of Fiesta if not for the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy, Sophia Mattos)
Lighted rooms at the Marriott River Walk form a heart to honor medical workers and other essential workers, in downtown San Antonio, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. San Antonio remains under stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak and residents are required to wear face coverings or masks whenever in public. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
A man wears a face mask as he leaves a business that remains open in downtown San Antonio, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Shoppers wearing face protection ride an escalator at Ingram Park Mall in San Antonio, Friday, May 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Alamo Heights Baptist Church pastor Bobby Contreras, left, and his wife Hannah, work to clean, sanitize and prepare the church for services this Sunday, in San Antonio, Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller made a flyover of San Antonio to bless the city on Monday, May 11, 2020. (KSAT)
Thunderbirds flew over San Antonio to thank front line responders to the coronavirus pandemic on May 13, 2020.
People wearing face masks for protection against COVID-19 pass a business that has reopened in San Antonio, Thursday, May 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Jerry A Mann, second from right, is held by his grandmother, Sylvia Rubio, as he is tested for COVID-19 by the San Antonio Fire Department at a free walk-up test site set up to help underserved and minority communities in San Antonio, Thursday, May 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
San Antonio Police Department Senior Crime Scene Investigator Robert Rackley collects evidence at the site where the Alamo Cenotaph was vandalized with spray paint in San Antonio, Friday, May 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
A group of armed men stood guard in front of the Alamo Cenotaph after it was vandalized with spray paint in the early hours of Friday, May 29, 2020. (KSAT)
San Antonians gathered at Travis Park for a peaceful protest on May 30, 2020, in the wake of George Floyd's death.
San Antonians gathered at Travis Park for a peaceful protest on May 30, 2020, in the wake of George Floyd's death. (KSAT)
Thousands of protesters march through downtown San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, May 30, 2020, to protest the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. (Andrew Salinero)
Thousands of protesters march through downtown San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, May 30, 2020, to protest the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. (Andrew Salinero)
Thousands of protesters march through downtown San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, May 30, 2020, to protest the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. (Andrew Salinero)
Thousands of protesters march through downtown San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, May 30, 2020, to protest the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. (Andrew Salinero)
This graffiti was spotted in downtown San Antonio after a peaceful protest over George Floyd’s death erupted into violence in downtown San Antonio on May 30, 2020. (KSAT)
A peaceful protest over George Floyd’s death erupted into violence in downtown San Antonio on May 30, 2020. Police officers formed lines to help contain the large crowds once groups reached the Alamo. (KSAT)
Spurs' Lonnie Walker passed out water and joined the community cleanup after businesses were damaged in downtown San Antonio.
Marcus Lindsey, a street performer that goes by the name Tin Man, walks through downtown San Antonio, Monday, June 1, 2020. Lindsey said he returned to work after a break due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
A protester is embraced by a fellow protester in San Antonio, Wednesday, June 3, 2020, as they gather over the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
San Antonio Police Deputy Chief Gus Guzman, left, talks with demonstrators gathered after curfew in San Antonio, Wednesday, June 3, 2020, to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
A member of the National Guard and the Alamo are seen behind a newly erected protective fence in San Antonio, Wednesday, June 3, 2020. The grounds were being protected with the fence and a curfew as a precautionary measure to minimize the possibility of civil disturbance and damage to sensitive structures as protests have broken out over the death of George Floyd. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Two men pass a boarded up business with the message "I Can't Breathe Mama" in San Antonio, Thursday, June 4, 2020, referring to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Wearing a face mask for protection as a precaution against COVID-19, a man walks along the River Walk in San Antonio, Monday, June 15, 2020, in San Antonio. Business continued to reopen after closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
In this June 15, 2020, file photo, visitors to the River Walk pass a restaurant that has reopened in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Using social distancing and other protective measures against COVID-19, visitors ride a river barges along the River Walk in San Antonio, Monday, June 15, 2020, in San Antonio. The barges, which have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, began running again Monday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
In this Friday, June 19, 2020 file photo, visitors to Six Flags Fiesta Texas pass through a thermal screening area as they enter the park as a precaution against COVID-19 in San Antonio. The park reopened at fifty percent capacity. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Visitors to Six Flag Fiesta Texas wear masks for protection against the coronavirus and are spaced apart on a ride Friday, June 19, 2020, in San Antonio. The theme park reopened as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Visitors wearing masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19 pose for photos at the Alamo, which remains closed, in San Antonio, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Cases of COVID-19 have spiked in Texas and the governor of Texas is encouraging people to wear masks in public and stay home if possible. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Visitors, some wearing masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19, walk along the River Walk in San Antonio, Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in San Antonio. Cases of COVID-19 have spiked in Texas and the governor of Texas is encouraging people to wear masks in public and stay home if possible. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
People wearing masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19 are reflected next to a sign requiring face coverings at a business in San Antonio, Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in San Antonio. Cases of COVID-19 have spiked in Texas and the governor of Texas is encouraging people to wear masks in public and stay home if possible. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
A Christopher Columbus statue at Columbus Park in downtown San Antonio was found vandalized on Thursday, June 25, 2020. District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino said it was vandalized overnight. (KSAT)
Visitors, some wearing masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19, ride a river barge along the River Walk, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Visitors, some wearing masks to protect against COVID-19, walk through downtown San Antonio, Monday, July 20, 2020. Cases of COVID-19 continue to spike in Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Visitors wearing masks to protect against COVID-19 ride a river barge along the River Walk in San Antonio, Monday, July 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Gov. Greg Abbott in a San Antonio PPE warehouse on Aug. 4, 2020. (KSAT)
A line of early voters is seen outside the Tobin Library in San Antonio on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, the first day of early voting in Texas. (KSAT)
Scene outside of Lions Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, on the first day of early voting in Texas. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)
A kayaker paddles along the River Walk, Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in downtown San Antonio. A program that has allowed kayaking on the business portion of the River Walk has been extended through January. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.