“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”
― Audrey Hepburn

Each year, at this time, I look through the images I created throughout the year and choose my favorites.  Typically this project has been a relatively easy thing to do.  This year, I spent significantly more time making my selections and

thinking about the reasons for each selection.

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone on the planet.  The year was challenging for me even before the global pandemic.  Due to the challenges of the year, my selections for favorite images are much different from those of past years as my focus has dramatically shifted.  This year has given me the gift of focusing on what really matters.

In March, when life changed dramatically for all, I began taking daily walks.  These walks allowed me to step away from the computer I was now relying on for work and focus on the beauty of the natural world.

On the Side of the Road

On the Side of the Road

 

Petal Litter

Petal Litter

My dog, Maui, was my constant companion on these walks and during my days spent working at home.

Princess Maui

Princess Maui

 

Friendship has always been extremely important to me.  I have friends who have weathered life’s storms with me for decades.  I also have such wonderful friends who I met through my love of photography in the past 13  years.

In 2020, while nothing else seemed normal, I was able to meet dear friends in photography to explore the world using our cameras.

Chris at Price Lake

Chris

 

Les and Janet

Les and Janet

Dena has been my friend since I got locked out of my house when I was ten years old.   She invited me to her house where we ate ice cream until I could get back home.  Recently, Dena invited me to spend time with her at her beach house near Fort Fisher.  The time we spent was filled with joy, shared stories, and laughter.  Before I headed home feeling restored and loved, I experienced and photographed this sunrise.  When I view this image, I will always remember the love we shared during that extended weekend.

BFF Sunrise

BFF Sunrise

Family has been such a  blessing during this stressful year.

My brother and his wife, Janet,  have spent more time here than in typical years in order to help out.

PV

PV

In the winter, my son, Jeremy, was sworn in as a police officer.  We are so incredibly proud that he has chosen a life of service.

Police Academy Graduation Day

Police Academy Graduation Day

In September, we officially added a new member to our family.  Abi, Jeremy’s wife, actually became a member of our family a long time ago.  On this cool fall morning, Abi allowed us to drag her out of bed at 3:00 a.m. in order to drive to Roan Mountain in time to photograph her at the top of Round Bald in her wedding dress at sunrise.

Round Bald Sunrise

Round Bald Sunrise

Randy, my husband, has been my support and rock through all of the challenges this year has presented.

Randy at the Channels

Randy at the Channels

Creativity has always allowed me to express my feelings about a situation.  I have created two composites this year that have helped me express my new normal working life and home life.

ZOOm

ZOOm

 

Trapped

Trapped

My last favorite image of the year is one I made at the very beginning of 2020.  Each year, Randy’s parents give me an incredible poinsettia plant.  I am always so sad when I have to say goodbye to it.  When it was clear I needed to say goodbye last winter, I decided to create an image using what was left of the gorgeous plant.

The Gift

The Gift

 

While 2020 has presented more challenges than perhaps any other year in my lifetime, it has also presented so many gifts.  I am thankful to have experienced them.

 

I am looking forward to 2021 and the gifts it brings.

 

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Comments (16)

  1. Avatar

    Love your reflections and images of 2020. Wishing you many blessings during this Christmas season and for what we have ahead in 2021. To quote one of our friends – “You keep shooting”

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you, Bill! I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

  2. Avatar

    Thank you for sharing your personal images. Always a joy to follow your inspirations! Happy Holidays and stay well.

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you, very much, for your kind words! Wishing you the best as we approach and enter a new year!

  3. Avatar

    Great stories and images Mary. Merry Christmas.

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you, Dan! Merry Christmas to you and yours, as well!

  4. Avatar

    I always enjoy your writing and photography. Very special. Your story last month about visiting a small town near you inspired me to do a similar photo project. I am going to small towns near where I live and photographing random things that catch my attention and probably are never noticed as people drive by the town and never stop, just as I’ve always done. I’ve had a great time and learned a lot in doing this project. Thank you very much for the inspiration.

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you, so much, Chris for your very kind words! I am absolutely thrilled to hear that you are exploring these areas with your camera. Small towns have such amazing photographic subjects. I look forward to seeing your images in the Vision Driven!

  5. Avatar

    Mary your images continue to amaze and inspire me…May 2021 be just as good and Merry Christmas.

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Merry Christmas, Edgar! Thank you for your kind words. I hope you are enjoying and thriving in your new home!

  6. Avatar

    Mary your inspiration is coveted, greatly appreciated for sharing the beauty and your words of encouragement! Love your pics & words that accompanied them! Merry Christmas to you & family. Pls congratulate Jeremy on his becoming a Brother officer ( 30yrs for me) Thank him for his service and I’m sending Prayers & Positive Energy he stays safe.

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you, so much, for your kind words regarding my work and my son. Thank you for your service! I hope you are staying well and taking care of you! I keep you in my prayers and hope our paths will cross again soon.

  7. Avatar

    As always, your work is amazing! My favorite is the poinsettia composition – stunning! Hope you have a restful holiday and many blessings in 2021!

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      So great to hear from you! Thank you for your kind words. I hope you have been enjoying lots of creative time!

  8. Avatar

    Very enjoyable photo year in review, Mary. You write almost as well as you photograph. Have a blessed holiday.

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you for your very kind words! Wishing you a joyous New Year!

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