Capturing images of Hill Country stewardship
Special to the Courier
Pictured: Last year's grand prize winning image in the Hill Country Alliance photo contest was submitted by Tim Huchton.
The Hill Country Alliance (HCA) is seeking photographs for publication in its 2015 calendar that tell the story of this region's stewardship ethic. Although a cherished place, the Texas Hill Country is threatened by land fragmentation, over-allocated rivers and aquifers, incompatible land development practices and a lack of understanding about appropriate stewardship.
The contest opened March 1 and runs through May 31. Winners receive cash prizes and appear in the popular HCA calendar and in various HCA educational products. Entering the contest can be done online through the Hill Country Alliance website at www.hillcountryalliance.org.
Each year, HCA produces a calendar featuring stunning photographs taken by amateurs and professionals - photos that target those special places that attract people to the Hill Country to visit and to live.
"This year we are encouraging images that illustrate responsible stewardship choices, including native landscapes, riparian habitats and vistas created by local land conservation initiatives," said HCA President Milan J. Michalec.
"We will also consider photographic illustrations of a Hill Country that is stressed and not well stewarded. Such images can be a reality check about what's happening on the ground. Our intention is to create a calendar that is a beautiful and educational reminder of all that the Hill Country is now, and the need for all of us to take care of it for the future."
"In a way we are loving the Hill Country to death," says Sky Jones-Lewey, HCA board member and past-president, "Unfortunately it can be a consumptive kind of love, love for sculpted and landscaped river banks, love for reflecting ponds filled with precious groundwater, love for hill top vistas and roads to get us there and love for big green thirsty lawns. But there are better ways and we want to illustrate these better choices so Hill Country citizens can see them and be empowered to alter our course."
When submitting photos, remember:
• Only color photographs will be eligible.
• Only photos with horizontal-landscape layout will be eligible - due to the layout of the calendar, vertical-portrait layouts will not be considered.
• Do not add text, such as including dates, borders, frames or rounded edges to the submitted photographs.
• Be sure the photograph accurately represents the subject as it appeared - photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization will not be considered (see Terms and Conditions at http://www.hillcountryalliance.org/HCA/2014PhotoContest for details).
• Be sure the photo meets the size and quality requirements listed in the Terms and Conditions - photos that are too large or too small may turn out blurry or altered when uploaded and will not be considered.
• Read the Terms and Conditions carefully to make sure photos meet all other requirements before uploading your photos.
HCA is a collaboration of diverse people and organizations whose purpose is to raise public awareness and build community support around the need to protect the natural resources and heritage of the Texas Hill Country.
According to Michalec, "Our goal is a Texas Hill Country whose charm is sustainable into the future for all to enjoy."