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19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Altered Images
Unity

My photographs are a visual and symbolical representation of my spiritual relationship with nature. Nature has been essential in my life to believe what I believe; it has transformed the person I am today and my philosophies. Nature was my only companion during my mental and physical recovery from depression; it was only with nature that I understood the complex questions of my life, to find who I am, to question my existence and purpose in life. It taught me that solitude is not a bad thing to experience, to be alone is not a curse but a gift, without loneliness, I would not have learned that I am a significant human being. Without it, I am not capable of establishing peace and a personal conversation with myself. To reach this condition, I surround myself with nature. To be surrounded by nature is what I cherish the most in my life; it is where I feel complete peace and happiness, something I could not feel with prescribed medications. Nature’s effects are rewarding to my mental and physical state. The attachment I have with nature is the type of affection I want forever; I know this attachment is harmless; in contrast with attachment to humans, it is prone to lead me to disappointments and pain. I have found eternal love, peace, self-discovery, and happiness with its presence. Nature and I are one, and its presence feels like a mother’s infinite love for her child. My spiritual journey is still in process, but it has shown me that the materialistic and the spiritual must be balanced. If the balance is heavier on the materialistic side than the spiritual, it can lead me to depression and anxiety. Nature does not judge me or belittle me, instead, it accepts my existence, and I, in return, do the same. It is part of who I am, mind, body, and spirit. The importance of black-and-white imagery represents my oneness with nature.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Litte Elm, Texas, United States of America
Camera: SLT-A99V
Copyright: © Gabriela Alatorre