Beginnings and Endings

A sunrise symbolizes peace, tranquility, renewed energy and the promise of new beginnings, while sunsets are filled with celebration and satisfaction. Both occurrences are a photographers dream.


My favorite place to shoot a beautiful sunrise is Jekyll Island, GA. I look forward to making my way down the narrow path to Driftwood Beach on a cool, quiet morning; lighting my way with a cell phone flashlight, setting up the tripod and enjoying a cup of coffee as I wait in the darkness for the light to dawn. Silence is a welcome companion.

The light arrives about twenty minutes ahead of the sun and I am ready and waiting; an artful piece of driftwood in the foreground, camera poised to capture exactly what I see.

The sky begins to glow with pinks and lilacs, and then a fiery orange appears and bleeds into the water. When the reflection casts to the shore the time is right.

2017 Sunrise at Jekyll Island


My idea of a beautiful sunset happens on the West coast of Florida, over the Gulf of Mexico. Think of the most perfect summer day, followed by dinner at a waterfront restaurant, like the Mucky Duck, where sunsets are always the main event. Grab a Margarita from the bar, kick off your shoes and watch the show.

One of the most famous places in the US to celebrate sunset is Mallory Square in Key West. If you have never been, it is a bucket list must.

This view is the center of attention every night at the Mallory Square celebration that begins at least two hours before sunset. And yes, the green flash really does happen, just don’t blink or you might miss it!


We have just booked a mid-July stay at Jekyll Island and the anticipation of capturing yet another beautiful sunrise is what makes me smile this week.

This post is shared with Trent’s Weekly Smile and Terri Webster’s weekly photo challenge – Rise and Set.

About Suzanne@PictureRetirement

Writing about life as a retiree - travel, photography, health and fitness
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34 Responses to Beginnings and Endings

  1. What stunning photographs, Suzanne and the Mucky Duck sounds like my kind of place ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful trip in July x


  2. Gorgeous photos, and I hope you have a great summer getaway. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Thank you for the beautiful sunrise and sunset images! You succeeded in giving me something to smile about this morning! I sent you a message using your contact me page.


  4. trentpmcd says:

    Very nice photos. You have to get up pretty early this time of year for those sunrise photos…


  5. Dan Antion says:

    I’m so glad you’ll get to visit a place you love. Trips are not on my agenda in the foreseeable future, but a couple are being discussed. Enjoy and please share your sunrise photos.


  6. Easin' Along says:

    Beautiful pictures! I love Jekyll Island Campground and we plan to go back in March. Donโ€™t know if Iโ€™m energetic enough to trod out before dawn, but Iโ€™ll think about it. My favorite picture in my library is a sunset at Mallory Square. Wonderful experience, crowds and all. Thanks for sharing! Joe


    • Joe, Driftwood beach is also pretty in the late afternoon, but there is nothing quite like the sunrise. This will be my first time shooting it in summer, so I expect heat and bugs will make it a little uncomfortable. Mallory Square and all its craziness is a must for anyone visiting Key West. Loved your sunset pic with the Clipper Ship.


  7. Oh my, Suzanne, these are spectacular! Lucky you can visit Jekyl Island for the show. I bet you have a great collection!


    • Terri, I am excited to be returning, even though it will be the hottest month of the year. We typically visit in the Fall or early Spring. I am so starved for a change of scenery, Jekyll will have to do. Glad you liked the photos and thanks for hosting!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I hope your July visit comes to pass! I’ve experienced the sunset at Mallory Square… probably one of the best I’ve ever seen (and we can see sunsets over the ocean every night from our deck). What was funny, I thought, was as soon as the sun disappeared below the horizon, 90%of the crowd walked away. Anyone who has watched a lot of sunsets knows the best part is just starting. We didn’t see a green flash that evening, but I’ve seen several over the years. They seem to need a completely clear sky and horizon to appear..


    • Janis, I have never seen the green flash. I can imagine that living on the West Coast gives you lots of opportunities. As to leaving before the show begins; I see it happen all the time. Photographers know to hang around for the main event; after the sun sets, but the casual sunset lover tends to call it an evening as soon as it disappears. Same thing with the sunrise. That twenty minutes before IS the show. Fingers crossed that we will be able to make this little trip.


  9. Once again, your photos are stunning.
    I have just added Mallory Square in Key West to my Travel Bucket List!


  10. Natalie says:

    Beautiful photos, Suzanne. The colours are exquisite. I hope you have a wonderful July getaway to Jekyll island.


  11. kemkem says:

    A margarita by the bar and l had trouble concentrating on the rest of the post :-). Absolutely marvelous images… simply gorgeous and yes, a must visit. Stay safe guys :-).


  12. Erica/Erika says:

    Suzanne, I always look forward to reading your posts. An escape, a new perspective, beautiful photos and I often learn something new. Coincidentally, an hour ago I was playing with my new tripod for my phone. I finally made a point of buying one and within minutes, I was absolutely thrilled with my new options.

    Breathtakingly beautiful sunrise capture! And the sunset, what a show!

    Your photos are an exceptional piece of art. You convey your love for the area and the setting and we have the privilege of being part of it. Thank you for sharing a beautiful post!


    • Erica, I’m glad you enjoy my pictures. Photography is a fun hobby and I can’t think of a better way to show off my state. The cell phone tripod is very useful, especially given our Covid situation isn’t it? Face Time doesn’t seem so, well, in your face! And, the remote shutter makes taking a ‘selfie’ much more natural. I hope you write about it and share some photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Suzanne! LOVED these photos. You really do have an eye for it. And thanks for the memories. Thom (my husband) and I traveled to Key West years ago…early 90s as a matter of fact…and we stayed there a couple of nights and celebrated sunset on the “point”. It is a beautiful spot AND a party for those into that. I loved the entire drive to Key West and as your photos show, there are so many great places to take photos. We haven’t been to Jekyll Island although your photo makes me want to put that on the list! ~Kathy


    • Hi Kathy, thanks for stopping by. Key West is a pretty crazy place and everyone should visit there at least once for the experience. Jekyll is a place we return to time after time. It is a beautiful island with a slow pace and lots of walking and bike trails. And, the photo opportunities are endless. Take care and enjoy the weekend.


  14. Lovely shots. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  15. dawnkinster says:

    Both are so beautiful! Have fun on your trip!!


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