Professional nature photographer Sean Fitzgerald has traveled to wildernesses all over the world for his art, but the former lawyer and Dallas native at first didn’t spend much time taking pictures of his hometown when he switched careers 15 years ago. Then, in 2009, he was driving on Interstate 45, about eight miles shy of downtown Dallas, and looked out across the thick forest that spread out in either direction. He’d taken note of the landscape on previous trips down I-45 but he’d never given serious consideration to what plants, wildlife, and hidden vistas the trees might conceal.
Camera in tow, Fitzgerald began to explore the Great Trinity Forest, some 7,000 acres of wetland forest and prairie that hugs the Trinity River along much of its course through southern Dallas.
“There’s tons of these hidden lakes and hidden ponds that are hidden within the forest. What I’ve found is some of them have incredible biodiversity.” Fitzgerald has visited many of them over the years. His favorite — what he calls the “secret bird pond” — is located not far from the Trinity River Audubon Center. Fitzgerald kindly agreed to share with us some of his photos from the ponds and elsewhere in the Trinity.
“This is wilderness,” he says. “You can stand there in a lot of parts of the forest, and you can’t see the hand of man. You can’t see a power line, can’t hear the highway … We’re talking six, eight miles from downtown Dallas.” So if you can find the time in your busy life take a brief moment to see the hidden beauty around you. I promise you will not regret it.