Scenic Virginia’s annual Virginia Vistas Photo Contest showcases the depth and breadth of scenic beauty in the commonwealth.

“There is so much to recommend [about] our beautiful Virginia, and we love that our photo contest captures the full, magnificent spectrum,” said Leighton Powell, executive director of Scenic Virginia. “We are completely indebted to the talented photographers who capture these amazing images and share them with us.”

Scenic Virginia received more than 1,000 entries for consideration in 10 categories, including best in show, Facebook fan favorite, cities and towns, vistas with wildlife, and rivers and waterways.

C. Renee Martin of Fredericksburg is the winner in the Scenic Trees category. “Dogwood Lane” was taken at Blandy Farm in Boyce. Writes Martin, “I feel a certain belonging when I am photographing nature. … I had never visited the State Arboretum of Virginia and was happy when I finally did. I knew I was going to lose some time the moment I saw the beautiful rock wall with dogwoods lining the … lane. The daffodils blooming in the background just added more splendor to the scene.”

Theresa Rasmussen of Fredericksburg is the winner of the Rivers & Waterways category. “Fire and Ice” was taken at Leesylvania State Park in Prince William County. Rasmussen writes, “As soon as I saw the scene in front of me, I was in awe. It was absolutely beautiful. I wasted no time wading into the cold water to get as close as I could to the icy shards and was rewarded by not just the ice, but by an absolutely beautiful sunrise. A morning I’ll never forget.”

Robert Golub of Culpeper County is the winner in the Farms & Open Spaces category. “Old Barn Sunset” was taken on Route 522 in Rappahannock County. Writes Golub, “I used to frequently drive by this old barn. … I always meant to stop and photograph it, but either the light wasn’t right, or the hay bales were not lined up ideally, or I was just too lazy. Then one evening, the light looked promising, and I made a deliberate trip … and finally made my photograph. Unfortunately, a short while later and much to my dismay, the barn was demolished. Now it’s just a pile of old rotting timbers. It drives home the notion that nothing lasts forever. If you find beauty in the world, don’t miss the opportunity to express your feelings in your art or words.”

Buddy Secor of Stafford County is the winner of the Fan Favorite category for “Aquia Creek Landing,” taken along the Potomac River in Stafford County. Secor writes, “The landing is close to my home, and I go there often to enjoy the sunrise over the Potomac River. On that morning, the water was placid and like a mirror, and as the sun began to rise, it cast wonderful pastel pink colors into the clouds. It was glorious.”

Judges for the 2019 contest were Ben Greenberg, a photographer and author of “Natural Virginia”; Judy Watkins, special projects manager at Virginia Tourism Corporation; Tom Saunders, a photographer with the Virginia Department of Transportation; and Eugenia Anderson-Ellis, a Scenic Virginia advisory board member and former president.

Notecard sets of the winning photos are available for purchase. A set of 10 cards (one of each winning photo) is $20, plus $3 for shipping and handling. To order, contact Scenic Virginia at 804/643-8439 or

Scenic Virginia is a statewide conservation group dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing the beauty of the commonwealth. To learn more, visit

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