It’s no individual thing that makes East Texas special, but some photos can come close to saying it all.
With its #inetx photo contest, the Tyler Morning Telegraph asked East Texans to sum up what they love about East Texas in a single image.
East Texans near and far responded sharing hundreds of photos of what life in East Texas means to them.
Some captured the beauty of East Texas in springtime with photos of lush landscapes, the beauty of Tyler roses and the serenity of evenings on the lake.
Others shared private moments with family and images depicting the love and warmth of community with photos from family gatherings and festive public events.
Tyler Paper social media specialist and contest coordinator Mallory Sutton said the contest had a dual mission of reflecting the newspaper’s mission to inform, inspire and involve the community and to celebrate what it means to live in East Texas.
“We wanted the community of East Texas to show us what was important to them,” said Sutton. By involving the community in a contest like this, we really got an idea of what people care about and what really inspires them.
I think it is an excellent representation of East Texas in and of itself. A place full of different people with varying interest working together as a community and supporting one another.”
Participants shared photos on Instagram, Twitter and at the Tyler Paper Facebook page using the hashtag #inetx.
Photographer Kaitlin Wilson captured a sunset in Nacogdoches at a location she said college students refer to as “the hill.” Wilson said it’s her favorite place to go in Nacogdoches, because it’s peaceful, away from city noise and is untouched by man.
“It’s one of the only places I can truly take a break from the stress of school, spend time with God and relax,” she said, adding that her photo inspiration comes from God.
“I believe He has given me eyes to see and capture (in a unique way) the beautiful things in nature that His hands have created,” she said. “I try to glorify Him with all my photos.”
Another photographer, Micah Harper of Gilmer, also captured an East Texas landscape, but he added a creative twist by photographing the scene through a glass ball.
He captioned the photo, “Sometimes if you look at things upside down, they make sense.”
The 10 finalists photos in the contest can be viewed at http://woobox.com/hrk8tj, where the Tyler Paper is asking readers to help select the top winners by voting for their favorite image.
The top photographers will win gift cards to Brookshires and Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Q and other prizes.
East Texans can vote for their favorite image daily through 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 1.
The photos also can be viewed by browsing the Tyler Paper's social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the #inetx hashtag.