Release Date

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, OCT. 24, 2023 – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has selected the winners for the 2023 photo contest. Each year, the department asks amateur photographers to get outside and capture the beauty of Missouri’s natural resources and enter their favorite photos in the annual photo contest. Entries include images from anywhere in Missouri, featuring its beautiful natural resources, unique state parks, natural phenomena, outdoor recreation, scenic landscapes, weather, wildlife and people enjoying the outdoors. This year, the department received nearly 900 entries for the contest.

The winning photos can be viewed on the photo contest website at

Natural Resources Category: 

  • First Place: "Reflection – Champion Burr Oak" by Harold Ostergaard of Pacific, Mo.
  • Second Place: “Short Eared Owl” by Jian Xu of Wildwood, Mo.
  • Third Place: "Bluebird on a Dogwood Tree" by Mary Moore of DeSoto, Mo.
  • Honorable Mention: "Pure Bliss" by Tyler Delagardelle of Ozark, Mo.

People Enjoying Missouri’s Outdoors Category: 

  • First Place: "Urban Creek Exploring" by Sara H. McCarty of St. Louis, Mo. 
  • Second Place: "Fly Fishing in the Fog" by Analizza Tomenio Neal of Springfield, Mo.
  • Third Place: "Summer Splash" by Branden Keith Johnson of Farmington, Mo.
  • Honorable Mention: “When You Land Your First Trout” by Abby Weber of Leonard, Mo.

Unique Places Category:  

  • First Place: "Water Falls” by David A. Peterson of St. Clair, Mo.
  • Second Place: "Mina Sauk Falls" by Steven Bender of Cape Girardeau, Mo.
  • Third Place: "Follow Me to Fall" by Rhonda O’Keefe of St. Charles, Mo.
  • Honorable Mention: “Rock Walkin’" by Renee Thierry of Pleasant Hill, Mo.

Amateur photographers of all ages may enter the photo contest hosted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The 2024 photo contest will open April 1, 2024. 
For more information about the department’s photo contest, visit

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