Nature can mean many things to many people. For some, nature is trees, grass and rivers. For others, nature is a specific place or even a feeling. For these four Lobo photographers, though, nature mainly serves as a source of inspiration and an escape from the stress of everyday life.

Menaul Trailhead

The Menaul Trailhead at the Sandia Foothills is my favorite nature spot in the city. Being 15 to 20 minutes away from the University of New Mexico, it really allows me to take a step back and clear my head.

My favorite time to be here is at night with a couple friends. Usually, we sit on a rock just off of the trail and observe the twinkling lights of the city. This spot always relaxes me and gives me some space from all my troubles in the city.

The trailhead is currently open all day and into the evening until 9 p.m. I highly suggest checking out this spot, especially at sunset or just after.

Soda Dam Hot Springs

The telltale smell of rotten eggs is something you’ll get used to if you ever stop at the iconic geologic site that is the Soda Dam Hot Springs. I love admiring the intricate natural features, listening to the waterfall crash into the river and dipping my hand into the surprisingly warm water.

Part of the fun of visiting this natural beauty is the drive up to the Jemez Mountains that takes you past brilliant red and orange landscapes that look like they belong on another planet. It’s places like these that remind me of how truly sacred the nature that we live around is.

Rio Grande

Walking through nature and taking photos is one of my favorite hobbies. It’s fun to find little curiosities like this bottle since they make good subjects for photos, but it’s also depressing to see a place like the Rio Grande be filled with litter and dry swaths of mud.

Despite this, I still enjoy listening to the wind blow through the cottonwood trees and gazing at the sunlight reflecting off the water. The trip outdoors is definitely worth capturing photos of.

Mars Court Trailhead

Taken in the Cibola National Forest, the Mars Court Trailhead is one of the few places just outside Albuquerque to see greenery. The trail is one of my favorite places to go to get out of the city and away from everything.

This environment is like stepping into a different world. For me, nature is a break from normal life. In nature, everything is different: it smells different, feels different and is the only place where I feel I can truly relax and de-stress. 

Henry Hammel is a freelance photographer at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @DailyLobo

Shelby Kleinhans is the multimedia editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @BirdsNotReal99

Maxwell Minty McGrael is a freelance photographer at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at or on Twitter @MintyMcGrael

Theresa Monjaras is a freelance photographer at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @DailyLobo