18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest The American Experience
A Small Piece of a Larger Whole

National Parks have become an essential part of what it means to be an American. Our exploration of them is an essential piece of staying connected with the natural part of our story. This shot captures the sheer contrast between visitors to the Great Sand Dunes National Park during the July 4th weekend in 2019 and the sheer size and fragility of the dunes they're on. I love the interplay with the dunes, not just for size and perspective but because the dunes are so easily deformed and marked by our passing. More than that though, they are able to recover with the help of time, wind and weather if left alone. It is a wonderful illustration of our complex relationship with nature in the US.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Photo Location: Colorado, United States of America
Camera: ILCE-7RM3
Copyright: © Alex Berger