The Sky Forever

From below sea level, the sky looks infinite. Gulf Coast sunsets are some of the sweetest, longest. Set against a backdrop of clouds, the flatland is a vast, natural theater. For a long time, I was unaware of these magical places right in my backyard: The holy blue springs of North Florida, the brackish wetlands surrounding New Orleans. Here, fresh water mingles with salt water, and the smell of the Gulf is never far. We measure our seasons by seafood: Crawfish, crab, shrimp and oyster. Cypress trees raise their fluted roots in the wet season. Turtles peer up from the swamp like floating rocks.


These photos are from the coastal plains of the South East United States, a quickly vanishing ecosystem. Despite conservation efforts, Louisiana loses a football field of wetlands every hour. I think many outdoor photographers, myself included, feel a need to document and share these places in the hope that others will recognize their importance and make efforts to preserve the coast–so that future generations can keep chasing the sunset.

Clare Welsh

Clare Welsh is a photographer and writer based in New Orleans, LA. She got her start photographing live blues and jazz, and the expressiveness of music still permeates her work. Since wondering outside with her camera, she has become a chaser of natural light. Inspired by literature and music, she is always looking for a lyrical story to tell—and luckily the oceans are full of them. Her book of poems, Chimeras, is available through Finishing Line Press. To see more of her work, check out her website at or her Instagram @clarewelsh.

clare welsh, crab, crawfish, ecosystem, Florida, Gulf Coast, Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, New Orlenas, oysters, shrimp, Sky Forever