one of the world's Seven Natural Wonders. Carved into the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia in Africa.
Victoria Falls: one of the world's Seven Natural Wonders. Carved into the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia in Africa. © Harry Randell

2018 Photo Contest

Nature In Your Words and Pictures

This year, we asked what nature means to you - and you answered.

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Something changes when we go outside. Our spirits are lifted and the stresses of everyday life shrink away. We find inspiration by observing the big things, like epic landscapes, and the small things, like the patterns of moss on a rock.

Nature gives us all a little something different. That’s why earlier this year, we asked our 2018 Photo Contest participants to share reflections on just how meaningful nature is in their lives. Members, fans and photo enthusiasts from 135 countries answered with 57,849 photos of the natural world they love.

This is what nature means to you:

Nature is everything to me. It reminds me of who I am, it pushes me to leave the comfort zone and feel alive every second of my existence.

Ice on Lake Baikal in Russia. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy's 2018 Photo Contest.
Frozen Lake Baikal Ice on Lake Baikal in Russia. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy's 2018 Photo Contest. © Natalia Kuzmina

Nature matters to me because it sustains my spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. It's a place where I can feel alive.

Lake in an enchanted forest near McCall, OR
Lake in Oregon Lake in an enchanted forest near McCall, OR © Angela Reed

Being in the woods calms me, centers me and soothes my soul.

Forest regrowth after a fire in Sweet Home, OR. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy's 2018 Photo Contest.
Forest regrowth in Oregon Forest regrowth after a fire in Sweet Home, OR. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy's 2018 Photo Contest. © Cindy Christina

Nature is a constant reminder of both mortality & also our resilience. Life adapts to so many contrasting environments. Life overcomes so many challenges & obstacles, evolving over the ages to become stronger, learning & growing.

A tree fights to survive in the harsh desert of Sossusvlei, Namibia. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy's 2018 Photo Contest.
Namibia tree A tree fights to survive in the harsh desert of Sossusvlei, Namibia. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy's 2018 Photo Contest. © Sidra Monreal

Nature is where we find solitude, strength, beauty, healing. It must be respected and treasured.

Kayaker at Morice Lake, British Columbia, Canada, with smoke from a forest fire. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy's 2018 Photo Contest.
Morice Lake Kayaker at Morice Lake, British Columbia, Canada, with smoke from a forest fire. This photo was entered into The Nature Conservancy's 2018 Photo Contest. © Shelley McGibbon

There are so many ways to appreciate all that nature gives us. If you’ve got meaningful photos and stories about nature, we’d love to see them in Summer 2019 when our next photo contest opens. Until then, keep making those memories outside.