"In June 2016 I quit my full-time IT job to become a nomadic photographer"
This is a story of self realization and the journey life can take you on as you buck the 9-5 trend. Peter Zelinka is a nature photographer currently based in Northeast Ohio. He bought his first DSLR in 2014 after spending years hiking in the forests of Pennsylvania and Ohio with just a point-and-shoot camera. His journey across Colorado will be told in three parts with the full version being available at peterzelinka.com.
In June 2016 I quit my full-time IT job to become a nomadic photographer. After spending countless days locked in a windowless, grey server room, I needed to get out! I spent the next 4 months traveling across the Western US, exploring some of the most beautiful spots in America. My first destination was, of course, Colorado. With its stunning mountain vistas and abundant wildlife, it was the perfect place to start my adventure! I quickly fell in love with Colorado and it took me over a month to move on to the next state!
Some memories are still vivid in my mind. A dark night in the Great Sand Dunes with the Milky Way glowing overhead, like an alien structure. Hiking up to Ice Lake and Island Lake on a beautiful summer day, the colors on the lakes were so saturated they looked fake! Watching a herd of elk grazing on the tundra, at Rocky Mountain National Park. Driving up Last Dollar Road in my little Chevy Malibu, which did surprisingly well! My time in Colorado was a life changing experience and I couldn’t wait to return one day.
One of my life goals for the past 6 years has been to travel to Colorado in the fall, to see the stunning yellow aspens and snowcapped mountains. This year, that dream finally became a reality. In mid-September I arrived in Steamboat Springs, which is home to the best aspen forest I’ve ever seen! Unfortunately, the colors were a bit late, so I had to move on before they changed. From there, I drove down to Crested Butte, one of my favorite spots in Colorado! I also made a quick detour to Maroon Bells for the first snow storm of the season. After waiting in my car for 6 hours for the storm to pass, I was the first person to witness the truly amazing view! The grand finale of the road-trip was exploring the area around Telluride. As I was driving into Montrose, I could see the Dallas Divide in the distance, the mountains were completely covered in snow! For the next 7 days I traveled back and forth over Last Dollar Road, capturing some beautiful fall scenes.
To get the full story, as well as a ton of photos, head over to my website!
You can also visit my blog and read about the 2016 roadtrip through Colorado.