Shutterbugs

The Photography Club travels to Caddo Lake and becomes one with nature

By Heather Sherrill
Guest Writer

Going to Caddo Lake in East Texas for the weekend with the Photography Club was a wonderful experience, considering I was sick and had never gone camping before.

I was nervous and excited all at the same time, but the bus ride helped calm my nerves, thanks to my fellow club members on board, Chaitanya Chapati, Amol Dandekar and Bradley Carver, and our two instructors, Dan Tossing and Kate Jenkins. While everyone was getting to know each other, we plugged either our iPod or cellphone up to the radio and jammed out. It was mainly folk songs and a bunch of oldies, but watching Kate dance to the Backstreet Boys was something I don’t think any of us will forget.

After we got to the park, the girls had their own campsite and the boys had theirs. We set up our tents and headed out to the lake. It was freezing outside. I was wearing pants under my sweatpants and a long-sleeved shirt under a second shirt, plus a jacket — and I was still shivering.

There were two boats, so Dan, Amol and me, then Kate, Chaitanya and Bradley, split up.   A tour guide on each boat told us about the history of the lake, how the Caddoans or Caddo Native Americans, lived there until they were run out during the Trail of Tears.

He said Caddo was a river until it overflowed in 1812 after an earthquake. That is how it became the only natural lake in Texas.

Once the boats started to move, my mouth literally dropped. It was so breathtaking. The trees towered over us and the lily pads stretched for miles over the water. It was absolutely beautiful. The tour was only an hour long, but we got to take great pictures of animals, like the Great Blue Heron, the Mink and the Bearded Screech Owl. Further into the tour we took pictures of a beaver dam and White Water Lily flowers. The tour ended sooner than I wanted it to, but I was glad to get back into the bus and defrost.

For the rest of the night we stayed around the warm campfire with our mascot, a piñata that looked like a chupacabra. We took him everywhere, just for laughs. Kate and Dan cooked food with their little mini grill, while Bradley and Amol kept the fire going. Dan was having a lot of fun with the pinecones, throwing them from behind me and Chaitanya into the fire.

The whole trip was fun, until we went to the bathroom. Minutes after entering, we ran out squealing because of the spiders hanging out all over the walls. The next morning we took some last-minute shots and headed home. I was sad to leave, but we talked about going on another trip soon.

I can’t wait.
—Heather Sherrill is the communications officer for the
Photography Club.