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Photo © Aaron Landes

PHOTOGRAPHY

Solo Hiker Shoots Big Bend ‘Neature’


Aaron Landes loves to travel. When not working his day job as a manufacturing engineer, he can be found hiking and camping solo around the world, as well as the wild places of Texas. While his treks have taken him as far as Puerto Rico, China and Canada, his first backpacking hike was a little closer to home: Big Bend National Park in West Texas.

Like many Texans who have discovered the Big Bend region, Landes was smitten by the beauty of the Chisos Mountains contrasted against the rugged Chihuahuan Desert below.

“My initial thought was ‘Unbelievable!’” Landes told magazine Chief Photographer Earl Nottingham. “The vegetation, the landscape, wildlife everywhere you look. It brought a whole new perspective on things that don’t seem so glamorous when you think of a dry desert area.”

Wanting to share his experiences with others, Landes purchased his first camera in 2016 and quickly honed his photographic skills enough to capture breathtaking imagery of his travels. From mountain vistas in Texas to colorful market streets in Hong Kong, his photos eloquently capture a palpable sense of place by a masterful use of lighting, composition and color.

A prime example is this sunset photo of the South Rim Trail at Big Bend National Park taken near his campsite.

In a social media post, Landes described his love of nature and coined his own word, “neature,” derived from “Isn’t nature neat?”

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