Mar 25, 2024 - News

Tampa Bay student photographer wins Florida State Parks contest

A river cascading over rocks surrounded by palm trees and lush greenery.

Photo: Courtesy of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection

The Florida State Parks system recently announced winners of its annual photo contest, and this year's student champ is one of our own.

State of play: Hope Bartlin, a 25-year-old Tarpon Springs native, won first place with this striking image taken inside Hillsborough River State Park.

  • Now a student at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in Saint Kitts and Nevis, Bartlin has been interested in photography "since I was a kid and could get my hands on a camera," she told Axios.
  • She's visited the state park east of Tampa more than any other Florida park "and it's never lost its magic," she said.

What she's saying: "Not just in Florida, but everywhere, we are losing the wild places to housing and commercial buildings.

  • "I hope that one day we might learn to live with nature and not against her, and protect all the unique species that call this planet home."

Bonus: An image of another Tampa Bay area state park, Honeymoon Island in Dunedin, won the mobile photo contest.

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