Best Islandscape Named in the Caleb and Linda Pirtle Travel Photography Contest
September 25, 2012
ANN CAGLE’S STUNNING PORTRAIT OF AN EVENING SUNSET OVER ST. THOMAS NAMED THE BEST ISLANDSCAPE IN THE VENTURE GALLERIES TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST.
Winter had crept into the Caribbean.
The cold stayed away.
The cold always does.
December brought with it the early shadows of dusk as they lay just beyond a cruise ship, beckoning the darkness as Ann Cagle watched and photographed a last lingering ray of evening sun lace together the sea and the isle.
St. Thomas is small.
But then, beauty is never required to be large.
And often hypnotic.
Beauty is found in places where memories are made.
And lost among the footprints of the sand that wrap around its beaches.
The shoreline of St. Thomas holds together only thirty-two square miles, yet it has gained stature as the most cosmopolitan of our Virgin Isles. The United States had a chance to purchase the island during the 1860s for $7.5 million. But wiser political heads prevailed, and the U.S. waited until 1917 when it was able to acquire St. Thomas for $25 million in gold.
St. Thomas is a land filled with history.
Fort Christian is a U. S. National Landmark, the oldest standing structure among the Virgin Isles.
Not far from the heart of Charlotte Amalie, the antique walls of the Government House have echoed with political debate, discussion, and despair since the 1860s. Its nine-nine steps were fashioned by bricks once used as ballast on Danish and British ships. The stone and rocks were left behind on the waterfront to make room in the holes of seafaring vessels for cargoes of sugar, molasses, and mahogany.
An architectural gem, the Dutch Synagogue Berecha Veshalom Vegmiluth Hasidim remains as the second oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere.
High upon the slopes of Government Hill, guarding the streets of Charlotte Amalie, looms the fabled Blackbeard’s Castle, now a hotel and restaurant.
And nestled back within the secluded mountains of the isle is the childhood home of Camille Pissaro, one of best known of all the French impressionists.
St. Thomas leaves an artistic impression as well.
Especially as the sun falls beyond the mountains and touches the Caribbean Sea for the final time of the day with slender specter of sunlight.