Cultural differences add spice to couple’s life
Raviteja Rudra is a vegetarian from India. Marcela Gallo, a Peruvian-American, finds great delight in ceviche.
Their paths crossed 10 years ago while attending RIT, and their lives changed forever.
“I never imagined that I would marry someone from a different continent, culture, and religion,” Gallo said. “The differences we have add a spice to our life.”
Rudra ’14 MS (electrical engineering) recalls first meeting his future wife. It was in 2013, when he was walking along the Quarter Mile on campus.
“There was a mutual friend talking to Marcela and he introduced me to her,” he said. “And we became friends for more than a year.”
Gallo ’14 (fine art photography) remembers that encounter as well.
“I was like, ‘This guy looks like a friendly, energetic character,’ and he even said his name was Batman because he had a Batman decal on his laptop. The second time I saw him was in the library, and I said, ‘Oh yeah, you’re Batman.’”
It wasn’t love at first sight for either of them. “My mind was preoccupied with schoolwork and other things, so we clicked as friends at first,” Gallo said. “He was very spontaneous. He’d say, ‘Let’s go here’ and
I was up for it. Being a photography major, it was always good to explore off campus. We really liked each other’s company.”
Some of those trips were with RIT’s Outing Club that Rudra belonged to. Others were ideas of his own.
One winter evening, he asked Gallo to go for a ride. He didn’t say where they were going, but she hopped in his car. Two hours later, she was stargazing in Cherry Springs State Park, northwest of Williamsport, Pa.
“He said it was one of the darkest places in the United States so the stars would be the brightest,” she said.
When Rudra needed a roommate and Gallo needed another place to stay, they became roommates, and their relationship grew stronger.
“We got closer, watched a lot of TV shows in the night, and eventually we fell in love,” Rudra said.
After graduation, Rudra moved to Cleveland for a job, and Gallo moved to Austin, Texas, where her family lived.
Eventually, both found jobs in Austin—he’s a systems architect contractor for the U.S. Department of Labor, and she’s a photography retouching specialist for a furniture design company. They bought a house in 2019 and live with their cockatiel, Azcucena, that Gallo adopted five years ago.
As the couple continued their trips together, those trips grew more adventurous.
On a trip following a tram ride up a Swiss mountain, Rudra got on his knee and proposed with a picturesque panorama of the Alps before them.
The couple married in a small, civil ceremony in 2020 due to COVID travel restrictions and had a more formal wedding with 70 friends and family members in Dallas in April 2023.
“I always reminisce about the moments I’ve had at RIT,” Rudra said. “I had so many friends from RIT who came to our wedding. It was nice to see them again.”