Landscape Treasures

It is rare for me to post twice in one week, but Terri’s Sunday Stills has challenged us to share our favorite landscape photographs. Be careful what you wish for Terri, and get ready to scroll.

Malcolm and I love to travel, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a short ride to the beach, a few hours to another part of our beautiful state, or across oceans. We value each experience and do our best to capture moments that reflect the beauty and character of each destination.

We live in Florida, which has an abundance of picturesque landscapes, starting with our own back yard. The Atlantic ocean is a short 20 minute drive from home.

Stuart, Florida (House of Refuge Historical Sight)

If you have been following Picture Retirement for any time at all, you will already know that I am enamored with this beach. It is our favorite Friday night (or any night) date spot. Two beach chairs, a bottle of wine…’s all good.

Miami Beach, Florida

Brickell Key, Florida

The two photos above are from Miami. We lived there for over twenty years and still have connections to the city. While we are too old and too impatient to live in the city anymore, it is a great place for a quick get-a-way and the cruise port has been our gateway to the world for many years.

Hugenot Memorial Beach, Florida

One of the best things about being retired is being able to hop in the car and go – anywhere, anytime. The photo above is from a road trip that we took last year to Georgia to visit Cumberland Island. This little beach was an unexpected discovery, courtesy of a traffic detour, near Jacksonville, Florida.

Miramar Beach, Florida – a rare dune lake spilling into the Gulf waters
The sugar sand beaches and clear Gulf waters call us back, time and again

I have written about this magical place several times. If you’d like to know more about Miramar Beach, read this post. Topsail State Park (and the dune lake in the top photo) can be found just a short walk down the beach from Tops’l Beach and Tennis Resort, our home away from home for a couple of weeks each year. It is a summer place for most visitors, but we like being there in the off season, when the beach looks like this every day.

Ichetucknee Springs, Florida 2018
Three Sister’s Springs, Crystal River, Florida – 2014

Florida has a lot to offer, in terms of natural beauty, and when we are not visiting a coastal region, you will likely find us paddling one of its pristine springs or riding bikes along the many trails throughout our state.

Beyond Florida

Throughout the years, we have visited many beautiful places in the world. My preferred method of travel is by cruise ship, and Malcolm enjoys planes, trains and rental cars. Somehow, we make it work.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia 2013
Hilo, Hawaii 2013
Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda 2011
Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda 2011
Douro River, Portugal 2019

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Ireland 2017
Northern Ireland 2017
Giethoorn Village, the Netherlands 2018
Copenhagen, Denmark 2018
Hamburg, Germany 2018
Waking up in Glasgow, Scotland (view from our balcony) 2017

Although international travel will be off-limits for a while longer, we can always hop in the car and find a wonderful ‘landscape’ nearby. Next up, Jekyll Island, GA. We will celebrate Valentine’s week there and hopefully bring home an island treasure – or at the very least, a few photographs that tell the story.

An Unsolicited Tip

I am still very much a novice, but I did learn early on that when shooting landscapes, you need to look at the scene from different vantage points and choose a central focus. When you look through the view-finder or at the display screen, make sure you have ‘framed’ the picture. That means, check all four corners, the top and the bottom, making sure your have included, or more importantly, excluded anything detrimental to the photo.

The idea is to come home with a few well-composed photographs, not thousands of vacation snapshots that will bore even you. If a shot looks too busy, zoom in on something interesting within the scene and shoot just that. Trust me, you won’t miss anything by taking a little extra time to take your best shot.

Anyone may participate in Terri’s Sunday Stills challenge. It does not matter if you take photographs with a camera or a phone. It’s all good. Visit her blog, Second Wind Leisure Perspective to read the rules and view her monthly prompts.

38 thoughts on “Landscape Treasures

    1. Hi Beth, Terri’s challenge was another opportunity to revisit photos from trips past. That 2013 Bora Bora photo had me longing for those beautiful islands, and the Northern Ireland shots, well, you know how that feels. I’m looking forward to finally making that long-overdue trip to Jekyll. Fingers crossed that it will be a tad warmer up there by the time we go.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your photos of FL and your travels are beautiful. I wish more people would take your advice about snapping pics. One perfectly lovely shot is much better than 10 pointless [pun intended] photos of who knows what. Just saying…


  2. Lovely photos Suzanne – and a wonderfully varied selection – although I’m not sure about that Irish rope bridge! Great tips too on how to frame a photograph – our eyes tend to automatically exclude the extra paraphernalia, but a photo includes it all and you suddenly realize how many tourists were around you, or some other strange addition that you didn’t notice at the time!


    1. Leanne, we did not walk on the rope bridge, although I would have loved to. Our tour stopped for the photo opp at the top of the hill – another reason to rent a car and do your own thing! I once shot a portrait of a cute couple with a 35 mph sign very visible in the background. Funny how we get distracted with the thing that is front and center and tune out all the rest. I learned a lot from that session. Editing out that sign was a beastly undertaking.


  3. These are all so wonderful! Thank you for letting us see glimpses of beautiful places! I agree with your advice on making sure you check all the corners and top and bottom for distracting things when you’re taking photos! Especially landscapes when you probably have a minute, unlike birds or children when you just need to get the shot!


  4. I love your Friday date night beach – beautiful! One thing struck me as I looked at your photos – every single one has water somewhere 🙂 I’m guessing that’s an important element of a favourite landscape for you? I’ll be sharing some water photos too, but I also love deserts!


  5. Hey Suzanne,
    Your pics were just what I needed this am. Dan and I seek the water wherever we go so these photos really spoke to me.
    Hope you and Malcolm are well…maybe we can finally get together after the COVID craziness has passed.


  6. Sarah, I wondered who’d be the first to pick up on that. Ding, ding!! You win! Yes, water is a very important element to my landscape photos and to my life in general. Water, more than anything else in nature speaks to me. I read somewhere that most of us are either drawn to water or mountains. I haven’t had an opportunity to photograph a desert, but I can imagine how a sunrise or sunset might be striking in the right setting. I look forward to viewing your post. Thanks for the visit.


    1. Janis, I hear you. Terri’s post was certainly timely, as it ignites longings in us all. I just saw a post from a blogger who shared her photos from the Canadian Rockies. That was one of the trips we canceled in 2020. It made my heart sing to see her beautiful images. We will absolutely reschedule that trip. Come on World – get those vaccines into arms and let us out of our cages!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. All lovely shots! I’m not a particularly good landscape photographer (I usually buy the postcards) but one beach where it is impossible to take a bad picture is Sunset Beach on Oahu’s North Shore.


  8. Suzanne,
    I share your fondness for water photographs. I grew up in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and I love them, but, given a choice, I’m on the water. We’re in Kings Bay (St. Mary’s), GA for a week. Cumberland Island is just a few miles away, and any sightseeing tips are welcome. Awesome pictures–you’re very talented. Thanks for sharing! Joe


    1. Hi Joe, if you want to visit Cumberland Island you will need to book the Ferry. I strongly suggest booking a tour also, since that is the only way to really see the island and learn about its history. It is a unique place that I think you will enjoy. Thanks for the compliment regarding my photos. Still learning as I go. Take care.


  9. Yep, Suzanne, my poor finger will never be the same for all that scrolling, LOL! Worth every minute, for your land-water-scapes are truly gorgeous. Like others have commented, I am itching to go visit new places. Fortunately, I’m in a new place now, which affords lots of new scenes and landscapes, but by spring, I’ll be champing at the bit to explore! I’m jealous of your short drive to the ocean for your Friday night date! Cheers!


  10. Hi, Suzanne – I greatly enjoyed taking this travel journey with you. With the exception of Hamburg and Glasgow, I have not (yet) travelled to any of the other exact locations that you have photographed here (I have been to Florida, Hawaii, Portugal and Ireland — just not the spots that you have shown). Thank you for taking us along, and for the photography tips. Both were awesome!


    1. We have visited some incredibly beautiful places, too many to share in one post, but my all-time favorite was French Polynesia. Those islands are magical. It’s a very long trip though, so I don’t know if we’ll get back there. I’d revisit Portugal, Ireland, and Scotland,(to explore different locations) but Germany was a one and done for me. Thanks for coming along.


  11. Christie Hawkes

    I am so glad you decided to participate in this challenge, Suzanne. These photos are stunning. And thanks for the photography tip. I’ll give it a shot!


  12. I really need to participate in this. I know I say that every time but still… heavy sighs. Fabulous shots here and I’m not even going to pick a fave – well, actually I did try & was originally drawn to The Netherlands, then Hamburg, but the colour in Bora Bora…


    1. Jo, you take so many beautiful photographs. I am sure that one of Terri’s challenges will eventually be just right for you. I have been to the Caribbean many times, but nothing touches the colors of Bora Bora. Just the memories make me smile. Have a great weekend.


  13. Beautiful photography and landcapes Suzanne. Florida looks very much like Brisbane which is the city closest to where I live on the Gold Coast. It is also lovely to look back on our travels isn’t it? We have travelled extensively but there are still places we would like to visit including Bruges. Have a lovely week. xx


    1. Hi Sue, I would love to visit Australia one day. I think I would feel right at home there. Your beach photographs always make me think of Florida. Bruges is a beautiful old city and I highly recommend spending a few days there. It is an easy train ride from Brussels. Soon, soon…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Beautiful collection of photos, really nice. Of course I loved the shot of the Douro Valley (we very much miss our beloved Porto). The shot of the rope bridge in Ireland made me shiver just looking at it. Eeessh! Don’t think I could get across that, but I have Ireland on my radar. When life resumes I want to take another l-o-n-g walk and I have my eye set on The Dingle Way in Ireland. #traveldreaming


  15. Patti, only you would want to take a ‘solitary walk’ after a year of isolation!! Actually, it sounds very appealing to me too. I can’t think of a more beautiful place to just BE than in Ireland. Malcolm and I were naming places we can’t wait to return to the other day and we both said Portugal at the same time. It is a special place, for sure. We will be back out there soon. First shots down! Second in March, then watch how fast our little feet move! Stay safe.


  16. Pingback: Sunday Stills Color Challenge: A #Rosy Outlook – Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

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