Piano was my first love, and it still holds a special place in my heart. Over the years it has taught me patience, persistence, excellence, and how arts connect us to the world around us. I learned that the arts can convey nature in a profound way. Liszt wrote music that brought nature to life by evoking the sound of waves in a lake in “Au lac de Wallenstadt.” 

Performing pieces like this made me believe that nature can be alive in the same way in photography – there was something wonderful, joyful, rewarding, and valuable about conveying nature to another person. This belief is my inspiration for writing and taking photographs. I bring the viewer along with me as we explore soft beaches, ethereal waterfalls, Mount Rainier, moss-draped forests, and meadows of bright, breezy wildflowers. 

I'm grateful to explore and hike as much as I do, and I see photography as a way to give back and share my experiences with others. Part of it is feeling a deep sense of peace and fascination in the outdoors, and wanting others to see what I see and feel what I feel. It's the great challenge with photography: how to translate what we see with our eyes and experience in our hearts to what actually appears in our camera roll. I'm still figuring it out, but in the meantime, I will keep striving to create photographs that evoke the one comment I enjoy most: "I feel like I'm there." 

Melissa Ozbek