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When Life Gives You Lemons...Get Creative

horse photographer Maria Marriott in the snow

It’s an interesting dynamic… how to turn lemons into lemonade. How to make the best of the unexpected. How to capitalize on the opportunities that present themselves to those who are ready and able.

I can count on two hands the number of times over the past few years that I have been in Nevada (usually to photograph the wild horses) and a snowstorm intervenes.

For those unfamiliar with the situation, I will just be honest… Californians don’t know how to drive in snow, which creates all kinds of problems.

If it starts heavily snowing in the Tahoe area, it becomes an “emergency” situation and both I80 (north of Tahoe) and Highway 50 (south of Tahoe) are quickly closed - with the result that me, as well as thousands of my California friends, are now stranded in Tahoe or Truckee, waiting for the California Department of Transportation to deem it safe for us to drive back to our homes.

As an example, I’m in Carson City a few weeks ago and a storm starts. Highway 50 closes. Then the roads around Tahoe close. I’m left with the only alternative to drive up to Reno and then to Truckee, where I find that I80 is now closed to all cars.

This is where the lemonade begins to be made… I have my cameras with me. I have probably several hours before the roads open up again. I have a prime opportunity to shoot Tahoe in winter.

Here are two of my favorites shots from being in Tahoe when the snowstorm hits. The Tahoe art I’ve been able to create during these situations has become my sweet “lemonade”. 

lake tahoe mountain and pine trees in black and white
Veil I

lake tahoe pine trees under snow
Veil III

About Maria Marriott

horse photographer maria marriott

Maria's work has been recognized for its emotional impact and intimate portrayal of wild horses. She works closely with several non-profit organizations focused on the benefits of equine therapy and preservation of the mustangs on our Western lands.


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