2022 Vero Beach Magazine Photo Contest Winners

In our second annual photo contest, 113 entrants took 230 photographs that show there’s more to Indian River County than meets the eye


Streets & Neighborhoods


Winner of Streets & Neighborhoods, photo by Bob Joy
Winner of Streets & Neighborhoods, photo by Bob Joy

Photographer: Bob Joy

Subject: Old Riomar

Location: Sandfly Lane

Date Taken: May 15, 2018

I recall this photo was taken on Sandfly Lane. As a retired architect, I appreciate the distinctively designed and well-maintained homes in Old Riomar. But what gives this neighborhood its unique character—and special appeal—is the dominant landscape. Even the unpaved road winds its way around the canopy of live oaks. Because of the deep shadows I used a technique called High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. With my camera mounted on a tripod, I took three shots in quick succession: one at a normal exposure to capture the mid-tones; one that I underexposed to preserve detail in the highlights; and one that was overexposed to reveal detail in the shadows. I then combined the three images in Lightroom to produce an image that reproduced the full tonal range.

Honorable Mentions

Photo by Zech Browning of Theatre Plaza after a hard rain

Photographer: Zech Browning

Subject: Theatre Plaza after a hard rain

Photo by Bonnie Pfiester of Historic Hallstrom House on Old Dixie Highway. jpg
Photo by Bonnie Pfiester of Historic Hallstrom House on Old Dixie Highway

Photographer: Bonnie Pfiester

Subject: Historic Hallstrom House on Old Dixie Highway



Photo by Kate May, old Florida living

Photographer: Kate May

Subject: Old-style Florida living

Location: Blue Cypress Lake

Date Taken: July 31, 2020

While I was born a Jersey girl, I have always been a Florida girl at heart. I wanted nothing more than to live near the beach, and in 2019 we became residents of this quaint little town.

I still love the beach, but I have always been that person to take the “road less traveled.” I was told if you want to experience “old” Florida, take a ride to Middleton’s Fish Camp out at Blue Cypress Lake. I stumbled upon these amazing cottages that sit entirely on the water. I just knew I had to go back and photograph them.

So began my obsession with finding the “roads less traveled” right here in our town. I spend my time on the dirt roads, exploring “old” Vero Beach and photographing as much as I can. There is so much more besides sand and palm trees to see here—it’s a photographer’s paradise!

Honorable Mentions

Photo by Alberto Santelices, under the Merrill P. Barber Bridge

Photographer: Alberto Santelices

Subject: Under the Merrill P. Barber Bridge

Photo by Cheryl Herndon, gazebos in Riverside Park

Photographer: Cheryl Herndon

Subject: Gazebos in Riverside Park

Photo by Richard Lane, 4th Street Forestry Tower

Photographer: Richard Lane

Subject: 4th Street Forestry Tower

Land, Sea, & Skyscapes


Photo by Tina Nickle of live oak

Photographer: Tina Nickle

Subject: Live oak

Location: Sebastian

Date Taken: December 26, 2020

Live oaks, with their amazing trunks and limbs, are majestic and beautiful. The shadows they cast can be spectacular. I came across this tree with its shadows in the late afternoon. I was a bit challenged because I could not linger, and I did not have a tripod. The setting sun was creating a beautiful silhouette of the tree casting long graceful shadows. I set the ISO at 250 and aperture at f16 to achieve deep depth of field and in hopes of creating a sun flare. I took five shots quickly, and the last one successfully captured the sun flare through the tree’s branches.

Honorable Mentions

Photo by Jerry Smietanka, Phantom Sailing

Photographer: Jerry Smietanka

Subject: Phantom Sailing

Photo Susan Mahoney, early morning Costa D'Este

Photographer: Susan Mahoney

Subject: Early morning, Costa D’Este

Photo by Wayne King, S.S. Breconshire

Photographer: Wayne King

Subject: The lighted flagpole affixed to the boiler of the SS Breconshire 



Photo by Dale Erickson, roseate spoonbill

Photographer: Dale Erickson

Subject: Roseate spoonbill

Location: Stick Marsh

Date Taken: March 2022

I captured this photo of a roseate spoonbill at the Stick Marsh near Fellsmere. A nearby rookery provides ample opportunities to observe these birds gathering nesting material each spring.

Honorable Mentions

Photo by Chuck Palmer

Photographer: Chuck Palmer

Subject: White pelican

Photo by Tina Nickle

Photographer: Tina Nickle

Subject: Great white heron with two chicks

Photo by Rene Griffith

Photographer: Rene Griffith

Subject: Barred owls perched on a cypress tree



Photo by Bonnie Pfiester

Photographer: Bonnie Pfiester

Subject: Citrus pickers

Location: Schacht Grove

Date Taken: March 23, 2022

Taking this photo [which was also chosen as a winner in the Garden Club 2022 Flower Show photography contest] was like being in a 145-acre scavenger hunt. My adventure started at Schacht’s Groves, when one of the ladies there told me I had just missed the Haitian citrus pickers dropping off fruit from their big groves. She described one of them as a deaf woman.

They were gracious and let me roam all over their property, where I took photographs of everything from old tractors to orange blossoms, but I had my sites on that woman. Louis Schacht showed me the aerial map of the groves and gave me a crash course on the layout of the property. Then the real adventure began. I searched row by row, driving my big four-wheel drive Ford through what seemed to be an endless sea of citrus in search of this small group of pickers.

I had almost given up when I finally found them deep in the groves picking grapefruit. I marveled at how they leaned the ladders onto the branches and picked a tree clean in a matter of minutes. We live in such a high-paced busy world full of machinery, technology, and constant distractions, yet, just a few miles away, it was like I went back in time.

Photo by Denise Kacavas

Photographer: Denise Kacavas

Subject: Veteran talks with jumpers at the Vero Beach Air Show

Photo by Bob Joy

Photographer: Bob Joy

Subject: Bullfrog Bash Rodeo in Fellsmere

Photo by Arlene Willnow

Photographer: Arlene Willnow

Subject: Taking the Wave

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