Windy Wintry Eastern Sierras | One Photo

In the early spring of 2020, right before the world seems to have collapsed, I was in the Eastern Sierras, living out of an old Dodge. The Eastern Sierras is probably my favourite place on Earth, and that time, they were the most beautiful I’ve ever seen them, as if they knew I wouldn’t be able to visit for a long time to come, if ever.

On one evening, I was returning to where I slept in the car from Mammoth, and just as the sun disappeared beyond the Sierra peaks, the winds picked up and started to sweep the fresh dusting of snow off them. The play of light together with the airborne snow dust created the most beautiful moments. I stopped at the side of the road and sat on the roof of the old car, enthralled by the dance of elements up in the domain of birds.

And for a few moments, it felt as if I myself could fly up there.

Those feelings of absolute freedom and absolute beauty… they help me to keep moving when the going gets tough.

I can’t wait to be back in the Sierras — but for now, I can at least remember all the beautiul moments I experienced there, of which this is only one.

One-Photo Series:

Grand Teton

Foggy Redwoods

Half Dome

Bridalveil Fall

Crater Lake

Mt Rainier

Mount Adams

Black Butte Drowned in Color

Years of Wisdom

Logan Pass View

Years of Wisdom | One Photo

In Washington state, there’s a place called Cape Flattery. To get to it, one has to drive on roads that look like if they didn’t go anywhere, and then hike a little ways down the coast.

It’s the land of the Makah Nation, and it’s one of the places filled with old wisdom and wonder.

When I was walking down to the cliffs, I was surrounded by the quiet hum of the old trees. Then, one of them simply captivated me – it was a tree broken and bent under the weight of years, but filled with wisdom and strength. I couldn’t explain it otherwise.

I spent more time with my hand pressed against its scarred bark, listening, than I did down by the coast watching the ocean. It was a very strange moment in which time felt like if it had a whole new dimension.

The tree has been there long before I was born, and will be there long after I die, and something about it just made me feel very… there’s really not a word that could describe it.

Black Butte Drowned in Color | One Photo

It was the first evening of the long trip. Only half an hour before, we descended the slopes of Mt Shasta back to camp, and I was feeling restless, fed by the mountain’s energy. Something hinted me to return to a turn in the road where we drove earlier that day, and I couldn’t but listen to the whisper.

Following it was more than worth it. When I reached that turn, the sun was just about to start its descent behind the mountain range to the west, and soon, the steep slopes of Black Butte were drowned in the most beautiful colours.

It was, hands down, one of the – or, probably THE – most beautiful sunset I’ve ever witnessed. The colors danced around the short but sharp peak and the air was buzzing with energy. I could feel it on my skin, and I could almost hear it, this hum, this crackle, and tunes of the song only the mountain with the choir of the sunset could sing.

Mount Adams | One Photo

We saw Mount Adams for quite some time from different places in Oregon before we finally got this grand view of the mountain during our hike up Mt Rainier. For the entirety of the trip, I wasn’t able to identify it and in the end, I found out its name only after I posted it on Instagram. Thank you random stranger for correcting me!

The mountain was our companion during the times of turmoil when my car broke down in the middle of nowhere in Oregon, and then as we made our way north to Washington. It was almost as saying goodbye to an old friend when we left Mt Rainier and with it the last views of Mount Adams, heading to Olympia.

You can find this one and many more on my Instagram @pina.marek

Mt Rainier | One Photo

John Muir said it best.

“Of all the fire-mountains which like beacons once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest.”

And it would be hard to disagree; Mount Rainier welcomed us dressed in snow and with gardens of ever-so-beautiful wildflowers which were hard to ignore. The slopes of Mt Rainier were covered with young trees, fresh grass and dozens of crystal-clear streams running down through the meadows.

It was beautiful and completely breathtaking – and it returns to me often in my dreams. Again, the only thing I can say is how grateful I am for that I can be in this world and experience it.

More One-Photo posts:

Foggy Redwoods

Grand Teton

Crater Lake

Bridalveil Fall

Half Dome