After his service, he ran his own business, Graphic Arts Studio, for five years in El Paso until he moved to San Francisco to join the Steadman, Cooper and Busse advertising firm as a production manager.
Horst was introduced to his wife Julia by a Maurice Read, a mutual friend, at an art gallery opening in Old Sacramento. She was pouring champagne.
“They locked eyes and the next thing I knew that they had gotten married -- and then they got divorced and got back together,” Read said.
After they wed, Horst and Julia abandoned their careers to open Kiosko, a European-themed restaurant near Lake Chapela, Mexico, an hour south of Gaudalajara. They scouted the restaurant’s location by driving through Mexico in a Volkswagen van with son Niko, then a toddler.
The couple would shutter Kiosko after three years and return to California. They eventually moved to Sacramento in 1974 so Horst could immerse himself more fully in also his artwork and also to be near Julia’s family.
“We came back and he had a lot of friends here” Julia said. “We thought it would be the most comfortable place to be.”
To pay the bills, Horst freelanced and taught commercial art and film at Sacramento City College. He created a quarterly magazine for Blue Diamond, the nut people, called "Almond Facts."
“He hated being part of the rat race,” Niko said.
Horst worked closely with the City of Sacramento to create community installations, including a time capsule to be opened in 2073. He interviewed everyday Sacramento residents about how they felt about their home and their predictions for what it will be like in 100 years.
The artist also took pains -- some humorous -- to explain the rationale behind his works. A pamphlet distributed to his collaborators on the Sacramento Fly on the Alhambra Blvd water tower quotes Edgar Watson Howe, a magazine publisher and novelist: “Put cream and sugar on a fly, and it tastes very much like a black raspberry.”