Cole Thrift of Williamsburg, Virginia, a sophomore geography major, earned honorable mention in the VOWA/Hunt’s Best Outdoor Photo Collegiate Competition, continuing Virginia Tech’s success in the annual writing and photo contests sponsored by the Virginia Outdoor Writers Association. Thrift’s photo of a garter snake, taken while on a hike to the Cascades with friends, was one of five finalists. His interest in photography was sparked by a trip to Africa with a friend majoring in cinematography to film a documentary. Since then, “I have been experimenting and teaching myself as I grow more and more in love with the art of photography,” Thrift said. “I now spend a lot of time enjoying and capturing nature’s beauty.”

See more of the college’s past VOWA contest winners.