So many changes. Life in Florida is so different. After ten years in Montana I find that even half a year later, I am still adjusting to the changes this place has required. I am also finding that I love living near the ocean (this is a first for me) and I am awestruck by the power of the summer storms that roll through this endlessly flat land. It’s time to share some of my favorite photos from my time here so far.

First up, my first sunrise. I arrived on April 3, the afternoon before my birthday. It is a long standing tradition of mine to photograph sunrise on my birthday from somewhere significant. COVID-19 had the beaches shut down, so I couldn’t walk in the surf on my day, but I could see the sun peaking over the horizon from the boardwalk, and that enough for my first morning here.

From that first morning, life here has been an adjustment. COVID-19 has made moving to a new place even harder than normal. But the exploring I have gotten to do has proven that while I may not have mountains here, there is much to appreciate.

Sunset at Sebastian Inlet State Park.
Since I live in Florida, and just a few hours south of Cape Canaveral, I had to drive north for the historic Space-X launch. I went twice, the first attempt the mission had to be scrubbed due to weather. On the second attempt all the gathered spectators and strangers cheered together as we watched the rockets burn a vertical streak across the sky. As an added bonus I got to see a sea turtle and my first manatee.
One of my photos for the newspaper: Pat Hughes polishes up the 1968 Chevy El Camino that she and her husband Kerry brought to the 10th Annual Vietnam Veterans of Indian River County Classic Car Show on Saturday, August 22, at the Elks Lodge in Vero Beach. As of the start of the show there were 110 registered cars.
This was for a story on how COVID-19 has affected local business. Portrait of Alden Bing in the Orchid Island Brewery tap room on Saturday, August 22. The space was closed earlier this year with the first COVID-19 closures and will not be reopening. Bing said that they will continue to brew and that most of their patrons will likely be coming to the backroom to pick up beer to take home or they will be able to get it at local liquor stores and on tap at local restaurants. Photo: Brenda Ahearn Detail of one of the citrus-themed beers that Orchid Island Brewery is known for.
Another story for the paper had to do with the way COVID-19 is affecting local kids going to college for the first time. Fiona Zimmerman will soon be starting her freshman year at Harvard. With only a matter of days, she still has a lot of packing to do.
Kylie Oakes, a recent graduate of St. Edward’s School is going to Stanford on a partial athletic scholarship for rowing. COVID-19 restrictions are changing her sport dramatically.
Kylie agreed to let me do a video interview with her so a week after this portrait, we met in Palm City at sunrise for the chance to see her out on the water. The video can be seen at:
Story on a new program to employ and train members of the homeless community. Maureen Archer waves to those ready to place orders on day one for The Source Dining with Dignity food truck being parked at Route 60 Hyundai in Vero Beach on Friday, August 21.
Due to COVID-19 the Riverside Theatre season has been cancelled. Interior of the main stage at the Riverside Theatre on Friday evening, August 1, lit by only the house lights and the ghost lamp. According to Oscar Sales, the marketing director, the legend of the ghost lamp is that it is left lit for the ghosts to have their time on stage when the stage is not in use by the actors and the audience, so that hopefully, they will not interrupt or disrupt the shows when the house is full of patrons.
Candidate Profiles: Honey Minuse, one of the Vero Beach City Council candidates, at Young’s Park on Friday morning, August 4. The park has always had a level of significance for Minuse, but that grew when friends of her husband planted an oak tree there to honor David’s memory.
A paddle boarder out on the Indian River on Saturday morning, August 29.
Florida Keys.
A lot of my work for the 32963 has been portraits. The format of the paper is so different from what I am used to, I’ve never needed so many vertical images.
Turtle tracks — I desperately hope to see the sea turtles when they hatch.
For a story on outdoor dining in the era of COVID-19: Vinz owner Zandra Simm on Friday, August 14.
A man trimming the grass at Young’s Park is silhouetted against the Indian River on Friday morning, August 28.
This was an interesting challenge. The Vero Beach Museum of Art was hacked and contact information for donors was stolen. I was challenged to illustrate this story. I turned in several shots from this, but this was my favorite and I was delighted when this image appears on the front page.
The sign on the front of the Vero Beach Museum of Art framed by the large constructivist sculpture “Trevan’s Arch,” by Haydn Llewellyn Davies.