A winter storm clearing in Woody Creek, Colorado. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
Margaret Reckling signs copies of 'Woody Creek: Views from a Homestead' at Skye Gallery in Aspen. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
Margaret Reckling's book has Aspen area lovers swooning. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
Storms are their most inspiring when coming across the mountains. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
Bucks pass through Velvet White Star Ranch in the Roaring Fork Valley. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
Hayfields in the fall create a soothing visual tapestry. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
Aspen leaves present a textural delight for the camera lens. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
Majestic frost-covered willows (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
The morning moonset is washed in apricot clouds. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
An American bald eagle drying its wings. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
This winter-weary elk passes along banks of willows. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
A lone coyote on an autumn day. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
A hawk soars through a bright blue sky. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
Old horseshoes in the barn (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
Margaret Reckling at her book signing at Skye Gallery in Aspen. (Photo by Margaret Reckling)
Native Texan and long-time Houstonian Margaret Reckling has been entertaining her Facebook friends for years with beautiful photographs and elegant commentary on the world of Colorado’s Woody Creek canyon, the sleepy enclave resting in Aspen’s hyper shadow. With the insistence of many of those friends, Reckling, who moved to the Aspen area a number of years ago, has penned and photographed a luxurious coffee table book, Woody Creek: Views from a Homestead, that has Aspen aficionados lining up for copies.
Across more than 230 pages of profound photography and compelling prose, Reckling shares with the reader her love affair for the pocket of the Rockies that she calls home. Vistas of golden aspens, stretches of snow-covered trails, herds of migrating elk and images of a lone coyote enrich the tome with an insider’s view to the area.
“My initial inspiration for this book came from the incredible natural beauty that surrounds me here on the ranch — when I moved to the ranch is when I bought my first camera,” she tells PaperCity. “I also felt the history of the ranch was an important story to tell because it’s a major piece in the overall history of the Roaring Fork Valley.”
Reckling’s own history with the area began when she was a child and her family frequently visited from Houston and eventually bought a second home on Aspen’s Red Mountain. The seeds of her passion for the area were planted at an early age.
Reckling relocated permanently to the area a number of years ago and in 2013 purchased the original headquarters of the Elkhorn Ranch that was homesteaded in 1880s, though hers is a smaller parcel of the original ranch. The farmhouse, built in the 1880s, is today her headquarters for working the ranch.
“Since the majority of my photographic images are taken here on the ranch, the book became a testimony about my experience here,” she says. “It’s about my love of this place and the gift of witnessing such extraordinary occurrences and maintaining respect for those who came before me.”
Photographs come from her six years exploring the beauties of the land around her while the book itself was two and a half years in the works, part of that with her publisher Houston-based Bright Sky Publishing. The photographs began appearing on Reckling’s Facebook page shortly after she bought that first camera.
“My friends and social media followers also encouraged me a great deal. They seem to really enjoy my images and my writings. A few times when I felt like giving up the idea, I had a few close friends who urged me onward. I had to put my head down and just do the work.”
While it’s not kosher to ask photographers what cameras they use (it’s the talent not the equipment, most contend), so enthralled with the photography, we wanted to know. “I have three different cameras, but they are all Nikons. I keep one in my car, one in my backpack and one in the house,” Reckling allows. “I also have some images in the book that were taken with my iPhone 7.”
If you enjoy this book, stay tuned.
“I’m happy to have completed it,” the author/photographer says. “And now can move forward to work on my next book ideas: one that my editor suggested to me and one that was born from the research done for this first book.”
Woody Creek: Views from a Homestead will be available for purchase online in October. It is currently available for purchase by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Reckling will be in Houston in November for book signings at select bookstores.