Splash Media

The Weather Channel

Date: May 19, 2017
Category: News

Photographer Proves Florida Is Much More Than Beaches

People often associate Florida with beaches and bustling theme parks, but David Underwood’s photography proves it’s a state full of lush, rugged adventure.

Underwood’s vibrant photograph, “Weeki Wachee Springs,” was taken at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. The park is just an hour north of Tampa, Fla. though it feels like something out of the Amazon. The Florida-based photographer captured the birds eye image of the natural spring — which the Seminole Indians named to mean “winding river” — by drone.

(MORE: Weird and Wonderful Attractions Along Florida’s Gulf Coast)

“There’s actually a nice bend down the river,” Underwood said. “So I sat with the drone and thought this was a really cool shot to be looking down at. And it was spring so I knew the colors would be incredible.”

The seven-mile-long river is one of Florida’s 33 first-magnitude springs, which means it discharges at least 2,800 liters of water per second.

“It’s the largest spring in the state and it keeps the water 72 degrees all year around,” Underwood said. “You don’t get that a lot of places. It’s crystal clear all the way down to the ocean. Then it gets mixed.”

Underwood, a Florida native, is currently in nursing school in Gainesville, Fla. and went on this particular kayaking day trip with a few of his classmates. You can see a few of them in the photo. What you can’t see are the manatees.

“It’s so cool to kayak it,” Underwood said. “There are rope swings, and there’s always manatees swimming in the river. They love the warm temperature, so in the early spring or winter, there always there. And because it’s always clear you can really catch a glimpse of them.”

If you’re still hungry for adventure after Weeki Wachee, Underwood recommends Devil’s Den Spring, a sinkhole that now serves as an incredible SCUBA destination. For the Florida native, natural destinations like these are too often overlooked in lieu of more well-known Floridian attractions.

“People underestimate the springs,” Underwood said. “Unless it’s like, The Keys, I think the springs are a better time than the beach. It’s more of a camping feel. It’s like you’re in the forest. A lot of people don’t realize these exist. Weeki Wachee is just one of them. There’s Rainbow Springs, Jenny Springs — if you don’t know it you’ll miss it.”


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