Toni Gerdes

Toni Gerdes

I am a lifelong resident of Arkansas. I grew up on Crowley’s Ridge in northeast Arkansas and moved to Conway in 1991. I have always loved being outdoors and the feeling that I can just be surrounded by beauty even just laying in the grass and watching the clouds.

After becoming disabled in 2005, I would sit around the house a lot and feel useless. In 2010, my husband gave me a camera for Christmas in the hope that it would encourage me to get out of the house. At first, I would just wander aimlessly around town, snapping photos of the places I would walk, observing the birds and trees, and flowers. All of the little things of beauty that we take for granted every day. I then began to roam farther away than the city limits of Conway, finding the forgotten places and the well traveled ones, and I fell in love all over again with our wonderful State Parks and Natural Areas, each one a rich tapestry of sweeping vistas with small gems tucked away in every corner. With my photography, I try to show that no matter how humble something may seem, there is always something beautiful to be found around you. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I say that there is always beauty, you just have to have the eyes to see it.