Gary Marks Photo

Mission Statement:

It is my mission to bring back from travels and exploration beautiful and engaging photos that make others want to explore them for themselves.  I, also, want to share the process of how to create a vision that lets you share the way you see the world with others.

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The year was 1999 and it was the dawn of the new millennium.  It was, also, the year that I received my first digital camera for Christmas. 

Soon I began scouring my own backyard discovering wonders that even as a native Southern Illinoisan had remained hidden, because of my “nature blindness” and other interests.

That love would soon become the basis for my first website, called Shawnee Hills Outdoors in 2010, which focused on Southern Illinois. In the beginning I wrote to an audience of one (myself), but as the years clicked away an audience soon emerged.

Fast-forward to 2018 and a new chapter begins, where we go beyond Southern Illinois and discover the beauty of our surroundings.

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The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof
— Psalm 24:1a


Faith plays a large role in how I view the world and my role in it.  Going out into nature reveals glimpses of what creation was meant to be. 

As a Reformed Protestant, I believe we were put here for a purpose.  At times though, as many believers, I struggle with what I see in the world. 

It is only through the knowledge of his Word that I may gain understanding into what seems like chaos.  What I am slowly realizing is that ultimately all things lead to the glory of the Creator and that he will use us for his ultimate purpose.


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