Goodbye 2020 - My Favorites from the Past Year
The last ten months have been a struggle for many folks, and I am sure most of us are ready to say goodbye to 2020. Before moving forward, I'd like to share my favorite photographs from this year. Business was slow in the spring, but seemed to pick up in early November. I was fortunate enough to continue having images published in Texas Highways Magazine and Texas Parks and Wildflower Magazine, as well as photos used on covers for both fiction and non-fiction work. Two photo books of mine are scheduled for release in the Spring of 2021 - showing the beauty of Big Bend National Park and of San Antonio, respectively. I'm excited to see what the publisher does with those.
As with many of you, we had plans cancelled this past year. I was going to have the opportunity to shoot in Iceland and Ireland this past summer, a long anticipated trip! But it has been pushed to the summer of 2021. Hopefully, that adventure will still take place. With the 3-week summer trip cancelled, my family and I headed to Colorado as soon as my girls were finished with school and spent a few months in the mountains near Winter Park. Feel free to visit my favorite images from Colorado 2020 blog when you are finished here.
And without further delay, in no particular order, here are my favorites from Texas in 2020. I hope you like them!
In early spring along one of my favorite dirt roads near Mason, I found this field full of bluebonnets and white prickly poppies. While this location is about 1.5 hours from my house, I think I saw maybe 3 cars the entire night. I did run into another person on this road - a friend of mind doing the same thing I was - practicing social distancing while looking for bluebonnets. Unfortunately for him, he left about 10 minutes before the sky began to show off its evening color:
A few nights later, not far from where the photograph shown above was taken, I found myself laying on the ground to get the best angle for these colorful prairie paintbrush.
Summer found us in Colorado And after a return from mountains, I took a mid-week trip to Palo Duro Canyon (one of my favorite places) to meet up with a friend for some off-trail exploring. One evening, we found ourselves atop the eastern rim of the canyon overlooking a beautiful arch. The evening light turned the rock a stunning orange hue as the last light spread across the canyon. I felt blessed that night to see such a beautiful place. This arch does not appear on park maps and took us a while to find, making it even more special.
The next morning after visiting the arch, I awoke from my camping site and hiked in the dark to the back side of Capitol Peak. In the cold air, I scrambled up a loose and steep scree-filled slope until I could climb no further. I took in the view as I awaited first light to spread across the canyon. This panorama was my reward. In hindsight, it wasn't my best of ideas to climb up here. It was dangerous and very sketchy. While I'm pleased with the results, I probably would not attempt this again by myself. By the time I had slid down the slope to the trail on my way back to the car, I had blood trickling out more than a few places on my arms and legs!
From Palo Duro, I made the 1.5 hour drive to Caprock Canyon. This was my first trip to this location. I was struck by the remoteness and rugged beauty of the landscape. I saw maybe three people, not including park rangers, on my entire trip. I look forward to returning one of these days and exploring more.
This past fall, the colors of Autumn showed up in full brilliance. I spent some mid-week days exploring Garner State Park and Lost Maples. (I always try to avoid these parks on weekends!) Even in the middle of the week, trails were crowded at times and there were even school field trips going on. The photo below shows a portion of the East Trail under a canopy of glowing bigtooth maples.
Last, I'd like to finish with an image I feel is symbolic to both my work experience as well as for our past year. It is a winding road; there is beauty out there if we can see it. We just don't know what's coming next, so we'd better enjoy the moments. This image was taken in the hill country during bluebonnet season.
Hang in there, friends! I'll see you in 2021!
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