AUSTIN, Texas – The city of Austin is effectively shut down in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and in a post that’s now going viral, an Austin man has managed to capture the “eeriness” of an empty downtown.
On Tuesday evening, Andrei Matei ventured out from his downtown Austin apartment where he’s been self-isolating per instructions from local and federal officials.
Matei works for a downtown tech company and has lived in the area for about 10 years so he knows what the city streets look like on a normal day.
What he found when he ventured out for a walk was out of the ordinary—streets almost completely empty of cars and people.
Using his iPhone 11, Matei started documenting the empty city streets.
"It was incredibly eerie,” said Matei over the phone to Spectrum News.
Since he edited and then posted the photos to Facebook they’ve been shared over 11,000 times and received thousands of likes and comments.
Matei has been attempting to respond to every comment and message he’s been getting, many of them telling him how beautiful or “crazy” the images are.
He said some of those messages have actually been asking if they could buy prints from him, but he says he’s not a photographer, just a “random dude with a camera phone.”
Matei has been giving permission for others to print the photos themselves. He just has one request— support someone in the area whose work has been affected because of coronavirus precautions.
“I think it’s important for everyone to be doing their part,” Matei said, adding that despite how different downtown might look, he’s grateful for the precautions city officials are taking to keep people healthy.
At the end of the day, Matei thinks the photos he took are an encouraging sign that everyone is doing what they can to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.