Weiss Studio

The Museum acquired the Weiss Studio collection through the purchase of the Leon Studio Collection. The Weiss collection was purchased by Leon and Nelda Kubala in 1949. The Weiss collection spans from the late 1920s to the late 1940s and captures the early essence of Seguin and Guadalupe County. Currently the collection is in the process of being sorted, stored and digitized since the museum acquired the collection in 1998.

Nelda and Leon Kubala. Hetta and Willy Weiss, Mrs. McGee- sitting, December 1943

Willy Max (Maximillan) Weiss was born in Germany. In the early 1920s he stowed away as a teenager to Mexico and then later traveled to New Braunfels, Texas. For a short while he worked at a grocery store and then later became interested in photography.

During this time, he saved his money and bought an 8×10 camera. He would walk around New Braunfels making appointments and then returning with his camera to take pictures. He did photography for about three years starting in 1928. In the mean time, he met and married the daughter of the mayor of New Braunfels, Hetta.

In 1932, Willy and Hetta Weiss bought Ebherhards studio in Seguin (Today’s Nelson Building on North Austin St). Weiss did photography and Hetta learned to hand color (or tint). Many beautiful portraits are evident in the collections; they photographed everything from wrecks, animals, babies, confirmations, weddings and funerals.

They built a home on Humphreys St and bought a farm on Capote Road. That year, the pecan bottom on his property produced enough pecans to pay for the homestead; meanwhile business at Weiss Studio was good.

In 1948 Weiss sold the studio to Weldon Ballard and he continued photography as Ballard Studio. Willy and Hetta moved out to the country where they enjoyed living and were successful raising cattle and pecans. Both Willy and Hetta are buried in the New Braunfels Cemetery.

Below are examples of his work


Title: Tekla Koehler Schleater                                             Title: Unidentified Female
Number: 34-062                                                                      Number: 34-285
Photographer: Weiss                                                            Photographer: Weiss
Date: 1934                                                                               Date: 1934


Title: Wedding of Philip and Eliza Alaniz               Title: Ball High School Graduation
Number: 35-450                                                         Number: 46-294
Photographer: Weiss                                               Photographer: Weiss
Date: 1935                                                                  Date: 1946


Title: Junior Shakespeare Club                              Title: Unidentified Family Portrait
Number: n/a                                                               Number: xx-183
Potographer: Weiss                                                  Potographer: Weiss
Date: 1935                                                                  Date: 1940s


Title: Walter Meier’s Visit to Seguin                         Title: Downtown Seguin, Central Park, 
          Lodge No. 1229                                                  Plaza Hotel, Starcke, Nolte, Magnolia Hotel
Number: 34-006                                                            Number: n/a
Photographer: Weiss                                                  Photographer: Weiss
Date: January 16, 1934                                                Date: 1932


Title: Marion High School Graduation                      Title: Seguin Race Meet
Number: n/a                                                                  Number: n/a
Photographer: Weiss                                                  Photographer: Weiss
Date: 1934                                                                     Date: November 17, 1934

For information about photo reproduction and research, click here.