The wonderland of Lake Tahoe

Sam Graves | @thesamgravesComment

The last time I went to Lake Tahoe, it was early September and we swam as the sun was setting. The lake was filled with campers, jet skiers and families on vacation and the changing seasons had begun. Little did I know that the next time I would visit, the change of those seasons would be in full force and the everything would be covered in white. My personal favorite. There's something so magical about the snow that I've always loved. The way the air is crisp and quiet, sometimes almost eerily so. Growing up northwest Oregon, we never had much snow. It rained 98% of the winter and when snow came, it never lasted long before it melted or was turned to slush by the oncoming rain. As such, the snow is always that much more sentimental and special to me. Like walking through a snowglobe. 

One of my favorite parts of traveling and seeing places over and over again is the changing of the seasons and how it causes the landscape to take on an entirely different persona. It's so fun as a photographer to have the opportunity of capturing the same place but in different conditions. It's as though you're seeing it with a new set of eyes or a very fresh perspective. Seeing Tahoe in the middle of winter was like returning to a whole new place that I had never seen before. It was amazing. The beauty of Tahoe and the Eastern Sierras breathtaking, regardless of the condition. It's becoming one of my new favorite places to visit, as it's only 3 hours outside of San Francisco, an easy drive and the perfect getaway location to spend time with friends, doing what we love to do most - explore and create. I love being in a car full of people when drive past a beautiful scene and someone yells "STOP!" as the driver immediately pulls over and within seconds, we are all piling out of the car with our cameras in hand, capturing the the beauty that lies before us. It adds a different meaning to the word adventure and makes me realize that not everything has to be the 20 mile hike through the jungle or sleeping in a tent in the mountains while braving sub-zero temperatures. Sometimes, it can be just as meaningful and adventurous driving through the snow, searching for places to pull off on the side of the road like playing a game of I-spy-with-my-little-eye. It's all what you make it and while I have a love for some of the more rigorous outings, simple moments like these are just as special.