Maria didn't know that a fire would lead to her new career as an artist. She became an artist only after a devastating fire in which she lost her home, her material possessions and the memories of family. It was during this difficult time that she collected burnt objects from her home and that of her neighbors. She gave up her executive position, sought early retirement and began to create art from remnants of the fire. Being self-taught, she began to hone her craft with just-in-time development for her new projects which featured wire and glass in addition to found objects. She had her first solo exhibit at La Peña in Austin in 2013. She also had a three month exhibition at Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. She has been represented by the Lost Pines Art Center in Bastrop, Art on 12 in Wimberley, and The Arts Connection in La Grange. Currently, she runs a small gallery in downtown Bastrop and shares studio space at Canopy in Austin.