20th Annual Photography Contest & Exhibition

Westcave Grotto in the Fall
Tom L. Hausler
2023 Best In Show

Naturescapes is celebrating its 20th year! Thanks to everyone for helping to make the contest and exhibition great! Your beautiful images are key to our goal of protecting our natural world.

The unique beauty of the natural areas within San Marcos inspired the first Naturescapes Photography Contest. The contest includes photographs taken in greenspaces and natural areas throughout Hays, Blanco, Comal, Guadalupe, Caldwell, and Travis Counties.

Goals of the contest and exhibit include increasing public awareness of the importance of protecting our natural world and giving photographers at all levels of experience a chance to capture, share, and receive recognition for beautiful and inspiring images. Suggested subjects include natural scenery, wildlife, plants, and people and pets in the natural environment.


  • $150 for Best in Show
  • $100 for Best Natural Waterscape, sponsored by the Hays County Master Naturalists. The photo must feature a natural water feature such as a creek, river, pond or lake.
  • $75 for Best Youth
  • $75 each for 4 Awards of Excellence
  • $25 each for 4 Awards of Merit

We also have special prizes sponsored by two partner organizations.

  • $75 for Best San Marcos Natural Area, sponsored by the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance. The photo must be taken within one of San Marcos’ six natural areas: Purgatory Creek Natural Area, Spring Lake Natural Area, Ringtail Ridge Natural Area, Schulle Canyon Natural Area, Blanco Shoals Natural Area, and Sessom Creek Park. You can find out more about them, including their locations, at https://smgreenbelt.org/natural-areas/. To be eligible for this prize, a photo must first be selected for the Naturescapes exhibition.
  • $50 each for the Best Adult and the Best Youth Native Wildflower, sponsored by The Hill Country Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.To be eligible for this prize, a photo must first be selected for the Naturescapes exhibition.

The contest is open to resident and visiting photographers of all ages.

We are pleased to have the contest juried by retired City of Austin endangered species biologist and photographer Melody Lytle!

The Milky Way
Lucy Gonzalez
2023 Best Youth

Naturescapes Exhibition
San Marcos Activity Center Walkers’ Gallery
September 28th – October 25th, 2024

Naturescapes Awards Reception
San Marcos Activity Center
Saturday, September 28th, 2024
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm