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PHOTOS: Winners of Scenic Virginia's 2020 photo contest capture the state's beauty

PHOTOS: Winners of Scenic Virginia's 2020 photo contest capture the state's beauty

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In a year defined by a pandemic and deep political divides, the scenic beauty of Virginia proved to be both a diversion and refuge for many.

“Time and again this year, we heard that Virginia’s incredible scenic resources were soothing mind, body and spirit and providing real comfort,” said Leighton Powell, executive director of conservation group Scenic Virginia. “Knowing that, we couldn’t be more pleased to share the winners ... of our 13th annual photo contest.”

Photographers submitted over 750 entries in eight categories.

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Virginia Scenic Rivers Program managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, entries in the Rivers & Waterways category were limited to photos taken along designated scenic rivers.

Judges were Ben Greenberg, a professional photographer and author of “Natural Virginia”; Judy Watkins, special projects manager at Virginia Tourism Corp.; Tom Saunders, a professional photographer recently retired from the Virginia Department of Transportation; and Eugenia Anderson-Ellis, a Scenic Virginia advisory board member and former president.

Scenic Virginia is dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing the scenic beauty of the commonwealth.

Notecard sets of the winning photos are available for purchase. A set of 10 cards (one of each winning photo) is $20, plus $5 for shipping and handling. To place an order, contact Scenic Virginia at (804) 643-8439 or email

To learn more, visit


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