Pink and blue sunset at the beach, Summer 2013

Sunset sky with shades of pink and blue, over blue beach waters
Pink and blue sunset at the beach. Galveston, Texas, summer 2013. Photo by Vernitra ©

I remember this summer evening. My family drove out to Galveston and spent some time walking on the beach and playing in the water. I remember sitting in a canvas folding chair on the sand, watching and listening to the Gulf waves and reading Crooked House by Agatha Christie.

Tiny moon, deep blue sky, July 2020

Tiny full moon and trees, against a backdrop of blue evening sky
Tiny moon, deep blue sky. An evening stroll, July 2020. Photo by Vernitra ©

I wonder what filled my thoughts on this midsummer evening a couple of years ago, as I gazed up at the clear, deep blue sky. Most likely, I was listening to an audiobook while enjoying the calm darkness and warm evening air.

Sunlight on flowers, April 2020

Bright sunlight shining on pink, fuchsia, magenta, and white flowers
Sunlight on flowers. Walking through the neighborhood during the pandemic lockdown, April 2020. Photo by Vernitra ©

During the pandemic lockdown, when I was spending so much time indoors, I appreciated moments outside, in nature, even more. On this day, as I walked around the neighborhood, the weather was lovely, mild and sunny, typical for Houston in the springtime. The vibrant beauty of these flowers in bloom stopped me in my tracks. When I look at this photo, I remember how calming that walk was, during such an uncertain time.

Bare tree, striking beauty, March 2020

Bare, winter tree in the bright light of the sun, against a backdrop of clouds
Bare tree, striking beauty. At the park during the pandemic lockdown, March 2020. Photo by Vernitra ©

I took this photo in the early stage of the pandemic, when we were in lockdown. After an extended period of remaining indoors, it was so refreshing to venture outside, in the wide open space of the park. Though the season had already changed from winter to spring, I consider this scene one of the most striking “winter tree” scenes I have captured thus far.

Tranquil trail toward the horizon, July 2019

Dirt trail on a grassy prairie, leading toward the horizon, under a blue and white sky
Tranquil trail toward the horizon. Prairie Trail at Brazos Bend State Park. Needville, Texas, July 2019. Photo by Vernitra ©

I can still remember this hike on the Prairie Trail at Brazos Bend State Park, in Needville, Texas. Under the late-afternoon sky, the open prairie scene was picturesque and peaceful. As Brazos Bend is home to many alligators, often seen relaxing in the lake areas of the park, I remained on edge throughout my hike, keeping my eyes peeled and listening closely for rustling in the tall grass. While I don’t think the Prairie Trail is an alligator hideout—don’t take my word for it, I could be very, very wrong—I was still quite relieved and thankful to not have encountered any gators, snakes, or other frightening creatures on my walk.

Brazos Bend State Park website: