San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance •  107 E. Hopkins St. Suite 121A; San Marcos, Texas 78666

The Loop


19th Annual Naturescapes Photography Contest & Exhibition

“Thirsty Hummer”
Michael Davis, 2022 Best in Show

The unique beauty of the natural areas within San Marcos inspired the first Naturescapes Photography Contest. Goals of the contest and exhibit include increasing public awareness of the importance of protecting our natural world and giving photographers at all levels of experience a chance to capture, share, and receive recognition for beautiful and inspiring images.

To be considered for the competition, photographs must be taken in greenspaces or natural areas in one of the following counties: Hays, Blanco, Comal, Guadalupe, Caldwell, and Travis. Suggested subjects include natural scenery, wildlife, plants, and people and pets in the natural environment. The contest is open to resident and visiting photographers of all ages.

Deadline for entries is June 26. Rules and information on entry fees can be found at To enter, visit

A $100 prize will be awarded for Best in Show, $75 for the best Youth photo, $75 for the best Natural Waterscape photo, and $75 for the best San Marcos Natural Area photo. Four $50 Awards of Excellence will be presented for the next most outstanding photographs. Four Awards of Merit will also be presented.

The Hays County Master Naturalists sponsor the award for the best photo of a Natural Waterscape. The photo must feature a natural water feature such as a creek, river, pond, or lake.

The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance offers the prize for the best photo taken in one of San Marcos’ six natural areas: Purgatory Creek Natural Area, Spring Lake Natural Area, Ringtail Ridge Natural Area, Schulle Canyon Natural Area, Blanco Shoals Natural Area, and Sessom Creek Park. To be eligible for the SMGA prize, a photo must first be selected for the Naturescapes exhibition.

The Hill Country Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas is sponsoring two awards for the Outstanding Adult and Youth Native Wildflower photographs.

This year’s contest will be juried by Hill Country-based nature photographer Michael Lustbader. Lustbader’s images have been published by National Geographic Publications, Audubon, Sierra Club, Oxford Scientific Films, and hundreds of other book, calendar, and paper product companies worldwide. He is the co-author of Close-up Photography—Capturing Nature’s Intimate Landscapes” and “How to Photography Close-ups in Nature.”

“Plum Tree Bees”
John Moore, Best Youth 2022

The Naturescapes Exhibition will run at the San Marcos Activity Center Walkers’ Gallery from September 30 to October 27. The Naturescapes Awards Reception will be held at the Activity Center from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 30.

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