For centuries, people have viewed swamps and wetlands as obstacles to avoid. But for photographer Mac Stone, who documents the stories of wildlife in Florida’s Everglades, the swamp isn’t a hindrance — it’s a national treasure. Through his stunning photographs, Stone shines a new light on a neglected, ancient and important wilderness. His message: get out and experience it for yourself. “Just do it — put your feet in the water,” he says. “The swamp will change you, I promise.”
Why you should listen:
Mac Stone is a conservation photographer from Gainesville, Florida. Growing up exploring the springs, swamps, and hammocks of North Central Florida, he developed a passion for photography at a young age.
Over the years his camera has carried him to some of the most remote and imperiled areas this side of the globe. For six months, Stone lived in Ecuador during the presidential overthrow of 2005 and worked with Wildlife Conservation Society biologists in the Amazon rainforest. Soon after, he moved to Honduras and lived in a small village along the Cangrejal River. For two years he taught photography to underprivileged youth as a way to raise environmental awareness in the region. Some of the students have gone on to win international acclaim and start up their own eco-tourism businesses. Through photography, Stone strives to start new conversations and expose the dynamic relationship between mankind and the natural world.
Currently, his work focuses on America’s swamps in an attempt to change public opinion towards our country’s wetlands. After spending five years living and working in the Everglades watershed, he will be releasing a 304-page coffee table book about the heralded River of Grass. Everglades: America’s Wetland, published by University Press of Florida in October 2014 has won a silver medal with the Florida Book Awards and is now in its second printing.