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Wonder in the Mountains

Photographer, mother, and physician Leah Swann looks out with delightView from Eagle Rock

We are thrilled to share the work of Dr. Leah Swann as we launch our new Photo Ambassadors feature. Through Photo Ambassadors, some of the best photographers working in our region offer their images to support conservation and inspire a deeper connection with our natural world.

These images were all taken in or near our service region. And many were taken on protected lands we’ve opened for everyone to enjoy, like Bearwallow Mountain, Eagle Rock, and Youngs Mountain. To protect these beautiful landscapes, donate here.

Leah is always taking stunning images. To see her latest work through every season, follow her on Instagram here or Facebook here.

Enjoy these wonderful images! You can click on any photo for a larger view.

Waterfall in Transylvania County

Artist’s Statement: The Places and Moments That Matter Most

I’m a physician, a mother of three, a longtime avid hiker, and a self-taught landscape photographer, based near Asheville, North Carolina.  Whether visiting the same trail a hundred times, or wandering somewhere I’ve never been, I’ve discovered that every day outside has something new to offer. I’ve found nothing more grounding or more thrilling than greeting a day on a mountaintop, watching goldenrod dance in the breeze, plunging into an ice-cold creek, traipsing through the woods petting mosses, collecting hickory nuts and mushrooms for supper, or identifying animal tracks in the snow. I’m quick to encourage time in nature to my patients and friends, often recommending specific trails and experiences that have left me awestruck or exhilarated.

Over the past few years, I’ve felt drawn towards photography as a way to capture a bit of the delight and wonder I’ve encountered over and over with my children in the wild. I’ve passionately honed my craft as a way to transport others to the places and moments that matter most to us.  I hope my photos inspire others to get out into the wilderness, as well as to conserve more of this amazing place we call home.

—Leah Swann
Photographer Leah Swann, by Jonathan Weddle


The Great Outdoors, through the Lens of Dr. Leah Swann

View from the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville


Playing on Bearwallow Mountain


Rays of light in a forest


Bear cubs in a tree


Winter on Bearwallow Mountain


Youngs Mountain Trail


Upper Whitewater Falls


View from Mills River overlook on Blue Ridge Parkway


Bee on goldenrod


Bluebird on Bearwallow

Photography Runs in the Family

Leah also shared some photos taken by her talented 11-year-old daughter, Norah Swann. Below are an image of a red shouldered hawk by Norah Swann and an image of Norah with her camera that Leah took.

Red shouldered hawk
Photo by Norah Swann


Norah Swann with her camera

Thank you to our first Photo Ambassador!

This isn’t the first time Dr. Leah Swann has shared her creative work with Conserving Carolina and we are deeply grateful for these images that inspire. To see more of Leah’s work, follow her on Instagram here or Facebook here.

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