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Everglades Foundation Magazine

Luca Martinez, 17, is a junior student at Palmer Trinity High School in Miami, Fla. He is also a photographer who bases his photography career on capturing the natural beauty of the Everglades. He believes it is vital to let people see and experience the Everglades in person, but if they can’t, he wants to show them as best he can through photography.
Luca’s photography allows people to see its uniqueness and native wildlife. He says it is vital for younger generations to connect with the natural world. “The biggest threat to the Everglades is how dangerously disconnected my generation is from it, and from the environment in general.” He believes that photography is a way for people to see the wonder of the ecosystem. “But nothing compares to getting out there and experiencing it in person,” he mentions.

The negative impact humans have on the Everglades, such as the increasing population and development, continue to threaten this fragile ecosystem. It certainly is difficult to help the Everglades if you are not knowledgeable about it. For example, not many people truly understand the Everglades. “One of the biggest misconceptions is that the Everglades is
dirty and dangerous.” Luca says.

According to Luca, giving South Florida’s wetlands your time and attention dispels that misperception. He says getting out there to experience the sounds of the birds and feel the clean freshwater on your skin is what it takes to make that connection. Taking the time to see the true raw, wild, natural beauty of the Everglades can allow people to appreciate it. “Nothing is more valuable than your time in nature,” says Luca, who likes to take people out to the Everglades to understand the impact it can have on them. He says, “The comfort of solitude that you feel out there stays with you.“

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