Nature group seeking entries for 2020 photo contest

This photo of a desert cardinal, taken by Zachary Gray of Harlingen, won the Audubon Community Nature Center 2019 Photography Contest. (Zachary Gray/Courtesy)

South Padre Island and the Rio Grande Valley offer plenty of opportunities for the nature photographer.

Perhaps, then, it will be no surprise to learn that the winner of the Audubon Community Nature Center 2019 Nature Photograph Contest hails from Harlingen. The winning photo of a desert cardinal, photographed by Zachary Gray, captured the attention and praise of last year’s judges.

This year, the organization is calling for South Texas photographers to try to reclaim the honor by entering the 2020 contest.

Audubon Community Nature Center is awarding cash prizes to winners of its 2020 Nature Photography Contest.

“The contest categories leave the field wide open for whatever fascinates you as a nature photographer,” said Alex Shipherd, this year;s judge. “Don’t be shy. Search out something that captivates you, and take your best shot!”

Cash prizes of $200 will be awarded to winners in both the Youth (ages 8 to 18, or still in high school) and Adult (ages 18 or older, or out of high school) divisions in all three categories of:

>> Wildlife Portraits: any wild animal. No photos of animals in captivity, such as pets, zoos, or rehab animals.

>> Macro Abstracts: anything that is natural/wild such as flowers, insects, leaves, water droplets, eyes/feathers of animals, close-up textures in nature, etc.

>> Habitats and Landscapes: places that any wild animals live in and/or waterfalls, sunsets, mountains, etc.

ACNC will print the winning photographs to exhibit in the Nature Center, and winners will be named in a news release that is widely distributed, including to their local media, when known.

The six winning photographs and 12 finalists — six youth and six adults — will be displayed indefinitely on the contest website along with the photographer’s name and hometown.

Deadline for submission of photographs is Aug. 31.

Full details of the competition as well as images of previous winners and finalists can be found at

To learn more about Audubon, call (716) 569-2345 or log on to