30 Days of #InspireMeThrough Photos

30 Days of #InspireMeThrough Photos

Like many of you, our world at Inspire-EdVentures has been turned upside down. We’d love to be traveling and educating you about the wonders of the world. Until we can meet again, we’d like to bring you 30 days of photos and stories that Inspire us. We’ll tell you the back-story behind the shot and hopefully you can take a small mental trip away from everything that is weighing on you.

We’d love it if you’d share your experiences with us, too!  Visit us on Instragram or Facebook, and then tag us in a photo that inspired you. Tag your friends, your family, whomever – let’s spread some inspiration using the tag #InspireMeThrough.


Read More About The Inspiration Behind Each Photo


Milngavie, Scotland

Our first view of the countryside as we traveled out of Milngavie on the West Highland Trail. You can almost feel the cool wind and rain on the back of your neck in this shot. This was the first of MANY times that we stopped to either add a layer or remove one. The weather would change quickly and often. This was day 1 of 10 and 135 miles on the trail. Looking at this sprawling vista, you can see why we were so excited to see over the next hill. The colors here don’t really give justice to the experience and the ground always seemed to move with the breeze. Mile after mile, no matter how tired we were, the landscape kept pulling us forward in awe.

Boone, North Carolina

North Carolina, in the fall, should be on everyone’s bucket list. So much to do and see! From the breweries and crafts to the history and winding mountain roads in the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s simply a must-see.

You don’t have to wander far off any path to see the beauty that is hidden in plain sight. In this particular shot, we were actually trying to scale down this (rather slippery) hill to get a better view of the waterfall that lays just out of view in this picture. One piece of advice I always give photographers is to be completely aware of your surroundings.

Sometimes you get so set on the picture you think you want, you neglect to see other opportunities. Always look behind you! THIS – is what the view looked like behind my (other) perfect shot.

Montana

Today I was thinking about the shelter in place orders around the world. I wondered, from the various perspectives of those affected, where would you most like to be sequestered? Obviously, under happier circumstances – where would you rather be?

My first thought was Montana, high in the mountains, sipping a hot cup of coffee while the sun gently welcomes the day.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

It snowed where I am yesterday. I’m not a fan – not in any stretch of the imagination. The only white-stuff I want to see comes in the form of sand and it comes with the suns beaming rays and the sound of waves crashing on the shore.

In this shot, we were looking for new places to explore in beautiful Ambergris Caye, Belize. We stopped for a bite to eat and a cool drink. As the warm breeze swept across our faces, I looked along the coast and thought it looked like I was dreaming.

You can almost feel that warm breeze here and smell the salty air inviting you to come and relax. Close your eyes – breathe it in!

Iowa

With so many parents now handling or supervising the day-to-day education of their children due to the stay-at-home orders, I think it’s worth taking a look back in time. Dating back to the 1800’s, rural residents of Iowa would send their kids to one
room school houses for their early education (usually to the 8th grade) because, get this – it was hard work and they had jobs to do!

It’s believed that Iowa once housed the most one-room schoolhouses in all the states and some were in use up until the 1960’s. I used to commute past this particular schoolhouse and during certain times of the year, I’d get a fantastic postcard view from the past.

As we all adjust to these unprecedented times, let’s take a moment to thank our educators for everything they do for our kids and our shared future. It’s an occupation that is so vitally important but often goes unheralded.

Grand Tetons, Wyoming

On this particular morning in Grand Teton National Park, we awoke before the sun to make sure we could be in the park to hear the elk bugling. We made it to a roadside pullout and sat and listened in the cool, foggy morning air.

The sun began to rise and painted the tops of the mountains and as it did, it revealed the elk around us, and this stunning panoramic view.

While many of our favorite bars, restaurants and shops modify their strategies to provide their services to us in new ways; there are some places like our National Parks continue to remain closed. Please consider donating to your favorite parks and recreational facilities if you have the means.

Lake Tahoe, NV

I’ve only been to Lake Tahoe once. It was during the off-season and it was quite cold. I was completely mesmerized by the colors and beauty, but it was eerily quite without all the tourists. Houses were dark, the beaches were bare and the only
sounds you could hear were from the birds and the wind.

I imagine that many of the world’s popular destinations are experiencing a similar situation right now. Today’s photo is dedicated to all of those tourism workers who have been affected by this pandemic.

Great Smoky Mountains, NC

The golden hour in photography is the time before sunrise and after sunset. During this time, the sun in low enough that the light has to travel further and the atmosphere filters it, making it warmer and sometimes very dramatic. It’s easy to
find the specific sunrise and sunset times – just a simple Google search of either term will offer these for your current location.

In this shot, we were preparing for a weekend of hiking outside of Pigeon Forge. We had settled in our housing (many of the homes have fantastic valley views like this). I had searched for the sunset time earlier in the day so I could be set up about a half-hour prior to sunset. Setting up early allows you to check that everything is operating correctly AND most importantly – lets you enjoy the show without worry.

Preston, IA

Growing up in the Midwest, you learn very quickly about hard work. I think growing up on a farm increases that work ethic even more. I can remember waking up before the sun and not ending the day until well after dark. Work ended when the jobs were done – plain and simple. I used to complain; I know I did. But to this day, I love the feeling of knowing I put in a good day of hard work.
 
I pulled over on the side of the road to take this picture. I knew I had to stop – it was breathtaking. I wanted to capture the small barn in the corner, just to show how much drama there was in the sky and how massive of a light show I was seeing.
 
Working late into the day, we were blessed with many of these views over the years. I’ll never forget those days – the hard work, the laughs, or the lessons learned.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Beautiful sunset view of St. Peter’s church from the SktPetri Hotel in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark.
After a long day of work and exploring – (yes, you’ll want to do lots of exploring either by bike or  foot), I was relaxing in my hotel room before going back out for dinner. Comfortable breezes were coming through the windows, sounds of bustling
commerce down below and the last signs of the sun disappearing beyond the centuries-old church.
Copenhagen is a beautifully accessible town, with incredibly friendly people, offering extraordinary food options and cultural activities.

South Water Caye, Belize

Several miles off the coast of Belize is a snorkeling and marine biology sanctuary called South Water Caye. The waters are crystal clear, with white sand bottoms, and marine life galore. It’s also home to the Marine Biology Field Station.
On this day, as we were introducing new students to the amazing underwater wonders of Belize, and a storm was approaching. We closely monitored the weather above as the students carefully documented the species and conditions below. We didn’t experience any severe weather, but we did experience some of the most stunning marine biology this planet has to offer.

Wildcat Branch Falls, SC

One of the easiest ways to get the most out of your travel is to take the back roads. Interstates are convenient and usually the speediest way from point A to B, but generally, you will miss the heart and soul of the places you visit. Sometimes getting
lost on purpose is the best way to find where you’re going.
On this trip, we had made time to explore in South Carolina. We had stopped for a cold drink and some boiled peanuts (something you need to try) and Wildcat Falls are right off the road. It’s funny how much beauty can be missed if you are speeding along. Don’t let the destination be the only rewarding part of your journey.

Sleeping Giant Resort, Belize

As we wandered through the rainy citrus groves on the sprawling Sleeping Giant Resort grounds, I noticed this horse grazing casually. I stopped and kneeled down a bit to get a better look and the horse gradually lowered its head bit by bit until it could finally see who had stopped to visit. It was a great moment. So peaceful, calm and simple.

The Woods

For those who are able to get out and about, a simple science lesson could be hiding around nearly every corner. Much of the country is waking up from a long winter’s nap; there are trees budding, plants growing and flowers blooming everywhere you
look. But don’t be too quick to hurry past. Look closely for those other bugs and animals that might be living in those plants and flowers.
I was morel mushroom hunting when I came across this toad. I actually didn’t even see it – I was admiring the flowers when I finally noticed it. Be careful when you stop to smell the flowers!

Midwest, USA

April showers bring May flowers, they also bring strong storms. With those storms bring the chance to see some of the most amazing weather events Mother Nature has to offer. In the Midwest, those storms can often include lightning, heavy rain,
hail, wind and sometimes tornados.
On this particular day, I could see the storm approaching from the Northwest. I headed out of town, towards the darkest part of the clouds. I found a gravel road that took me closer yet and as I approached a field entrance I saw the clouds start to
reach out toward the ground.

Mayan Mountains, Belize

One of my favorite times to shoot pictures of flowers is after it rains. This picture was taken after a long day in the jungle setting jaguar trail cameras. It had rained quite hard (as it often does in the rain forest) and we were taking a break to dry out.
I wanted to capture some of the beauty before we got back out on the trail.
Perfect pictures don’t always come when the weather is perfect.

Loch Lomond, Scotland

Today we are sharing another magnificent view from our West Highland Way trip. This was our first view of Loch Lomond, which we traversed for several days on our 90+ mile journey.
This was a great spot, a small pool of water off the main trail. It had been cloudy most of the morning and the sun broke through just long enough to capture the pure depth of colors Scotland has to offer. Take a moment to breathe in
the tranquility.

Hopkins, Belize

Back to our beloved Belize today. I love getting up early to capture the sunrise. There is just something about welcoming the day and this particular day started off rather unassuming.
There were a lot of clouds, so there wasn’t much drama in the sky but I loved the way this Belize Chair (or clam chair) invited me to sit and enjoy every second. I could stare at this photo forever!

Nature, Everywhere

What did you think this picture was when you first saw it? Sunrise? Fireworks? Stained glass? It’s actually the inside of a petunia flower, backlit by the sun.
Beauty is all around us – stop and smell the flowers.

Iowa Farm

I like traveling back roads, I think I’ve mentioned that before. Right now, the roads in the Midwest are full of farm implements. Farmers are working hard to prepare for this year’s crop during these times of uncertainty. Think of how they are already working to keep foods on our shelves.
This photo of an open gate at sunset is dedicated to all those hard-working farmers still working in the fields to keep our tables full.

Grandfather Mountain, NC

Another memorable and inspiring hike was atop of Grandfather Mountain, one of the highest points in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Another park that is currently closed due to the pandemic, this sprawling destination has multiple trails of varying
difficulty and lots of activities for the family including a Mile High Swinging Bridge!
In this shot, we edged around a curve just in time for the clouds to break a bit and give us a better view of the falls colors. The trail was a little damp from the rain and the fog was coming in and out, so we felt very lucky to have a break right at the prime moment.

Placencia, Belize

There is nothing like the sound of waves crashing on the beach while you watch the sunrise.
I had scouted this spot the previous night and dangled my feet from a hammock while the sun welcomed the day. This particular moment was captured in beautiful Placencia, Belize.

Armenia, Belize

To say this was a bucket list photography moment is putting it mildly. I’ve always been enamored by bugs, especially butterflies. The first time I saw a picture of a glass wing butterfly in a book, I was blown away. I immediately looked it up online to see where I could find them and figured I never would be lucky enough.
On this particularly cloudy day, walking along the jungle road at Sleeping Giant Resort, we came across this little guy sitting patiently for a photo opp. To be honest, I had my telephoto lens on and I didn’t even know it was a glass wing until I
reviewed the first photo to get a better view. I was SO excited – I kept snapping pics for at least another 10 minutes. It was such an amazing experience!

Armenia, Belize

The colors in Belize will take your breath away. You’ve never seen transitions of blues to greens like you see on the water. The flora and fauna in the jungle will boggle your mind. You’ll dream of them in your sleep. They will call you back, over and over again.
On this day, we toured Ambergris Caye and found this most tranquil empty dock that seemed to lead out to the reef itself. Take a moment to breathe in that salty Caribbean air!

Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve, Belize

The Jaguar Preserve in Belize is the only such sanctuary in the world and occupies nearly 150 square miles. There is so much to see, including multiple trails (some taking days to complete), waterfalls, and wildlife in abundance. You could spend
multiple days here and not cover the same area twice.
This waterfall is one of the closer trails to the parking area and we caught it at just the right moment when the light was illuminated the pool below.

Belize Zoo

I hate to even call the Belize Zoo a “zoo”. It is an experience. It is just like seeing animals in the wild. The animals are so well cared for and the exhibits are extraordinary. We make it a part of every one of our trips!
On this trip, we were lucky enough to come the week they had a new baby spider monkey. I caught this little one with mom just as it yawned. A trip to the Belize Zoo is always memorable!

All photos are by Eric Weber of 5BlueMedia and are used by permission. ©2020 5BlueMedia and Inspire EdVentures

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *