Somewhere, Elsewhere

Nadine Rodriguez
Nadine Rodriguez

Photograph series by Nadine Rodriguez.

I am a 23-year-old, Latinx, Florida International University graduate with a B.S degree in Journalism, a minor in Art, and a Queer Studies certificate. I am currently situated in Miami and working on my photography and creative writing.

Growing up in South Florida has provided me with a surreal experience relating to nature and the environment. On one hand, I was always surrounded by humanity: overpopulation, concrete, hurricane-proof buildings, and people. On the other, I was always a few miles away from nature. Beaches, secluded areas of swampy greens, sometimes even parks with towering trees and walkways dividing fields alive with an array of animals.

The ability to go from a cluttered city like Miami to the Everglades national park within 20 minutes has made me thankful for nature and has instilled a want in me to preserve it. Florida always comes to mind when climate change and pollution is brought up in arguments, no matter where I go, due to the amount of dependence this state has to the health of its nature.

The effects of us not taking care of our planet and environments is revealing itself to us faster and faster, especially in Florida. Red tides, animals dying, droughts, warnings not to go into the water due to some health emergency from a leak, etc.

Although these photographs I am submitting are not from Florida, I hope I am able to capture the beauty in nature that I interact with. In doing so, I hope that others will also see it and realize that it must be taken care of in their home state. Seeing artwork of our planet, regardless if it’s not local or regional to the viewer, instills a sense of wonder and motivation to go out and find the same sense of whimsical, environmental beauty near them, and pushes them to help preserve it.