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MARBLE FALLS — With seven state parks or natural areas in the Highland Lakes, you’re in the hot spot for the Texas State Parks Photo Contest.

“This is one of our monthly activities that we’re promoting to get people outdoors and, hopefully, into our state parks,” said Rob McCorkle of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “And, being the spring, this is one of the best times to be visiting the state parks and taking photos.”

The contest runs March 1 through April 30 with a number of prizes up for grabs. It’s open to everybody 18 years of age or older with the exception of TPWD employees. The photos must have been taken in a state park, a historic park or a natural area.

“In the Highland Lakes, you have a lot of great parks to explore and take photos in,” McCorkle said.

And, he should know. McCorkle is one of the few people who can lay claim to the fact he’s visited every state park in the state. During those trips, he penned articles for TPWD and snapped a few photos.

“I’m not the best photographer, but it was a lot of fun,” he said.

McCorkle said he hopes the photo contest will encourage people to visit the parks.

“I think once people get out into the parks, they’ll want to go back,” he said.

In the Highland Lakes, budding photographers and accomplished shutterbugs can explore Inks Lake State Park, Longhorn Cavern State Park, Pedernales Falls State Park, LBJ State Park and Historic Site, Blanco River State Park, Colorado Bend State Park and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

Photos entries must be posted on the Texas State Parks Photo Contest page on Flickr at You can also find a complete list of rules. You can use your Google or Facebook account to sign in to Flickr.

You also can go through and follow the links. Winners will be contacted on or near May 15.

Prizes include a GoPro video camera, a weekend excursion in a state park of your choice or a campout for up to six people in one of the Texas Outdoor Family workshops.

With so many options, it might be overwhelming or difficult to decide what to photograph. One way to get some great photographs is to focus (no pun intended) on a particular theme, idea or concept. Instead of walking through a park just snapping photos as you go, consider concentrating on a specific theme such as “children and grandparents exploring the outdoors,” “the fly-fishing experience” or “evenings in the park.”

This way, it puts parameters on your photographic outing. While you might initially believe it limits your creativity, you’ll actually find it allows you to come away with stronger photos (whether contest entries or for you own album) because you have a photographic purpose.