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Red Wetlands, Cienega de Santa Clara, Mexico, 2008

In order to bring awareness to these issues in a unique way, I shot many of the images from the air. Running as red and warm as fish blood, or as emerald and cold as a glacial lake, the aerial perspective shows where we as humans have been, how we connect to the earth, and how nature relates to itself.

For six million years the Colorado River and its dozens of spectacular tributaries carved out the Grand Canyon and scoured the Rockies, flushing mineral-rich sediment to the sea. Supplying vital water to more than 40 million Americans living in the arid West, the Colorado River is one of the most diverted, dammed, and heavily litigated rivers in the world. The farmers and residents of the rapidly growing western states rely on the river for irrigation, drinking water, and electricity. This demand has permanently altered the river’s ecology.

Location: Cienega de Santa Clara, Colorado River Delta, Mexico
Photograph Date: 2008
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200

Additional Information

Dimensions N/A
Available Sizes:

0.7 Meter Classic – (27.50” x 18.25”), 1.0 Meter Classic – (39.25” x 26.25”), 1.5 Meter Classic – (59.00“ x 39.25”), 2.0 Meter Classic – (72.00” x 48.00”)

SKU: N/A

About the Photographer

Pete McBride

Native Coloradan Pete McBride has spent two decades studying the world with a camera. A self-taught photographer, filmmaker, writer, and public speaker, he has traveled on assignment to over 75 countries for the National Geographic Society, Smithsonian, Outside, Esquire, Microsoft, The Nature Conservancy, and many more.

After a decade documenting remote expeditions from Everest to Antarctica as a photojournalist, McBride became frustrated with the short lifespan of magazine stories and decided to focus his cameras closer to home on a subject closer to his heart—his backyard river, the Colorado. Four years and 1500 river-miles later, McBride produced an acclaimed book, The Colorado River, Flowing Through Conflict, three award-winning documentaries and co-hosted a PBS TV program. Other watersheds soon called including a source-to-sea look at India’s sacred Ganges River. Upon completing the journey, The National Geographic Society named McBride a “Freshwater Hero.” Others, have called him the “Lorax of Rivers.”

His latest project, replaced rafting with walking—a lot of walking. Over the last year, McBride hiked the entire length of Grand Canyon National Park—over 700 miles without a trail. Moving on foot between the river and rim “was a remarkable blister builder,” but it had a purpose to highlight the challenges our national parks are facing as increased development pressures are poised to change the Canyon’s iconic landscape. After completing the journey, he and his hiking companion, author Kevin Fedarko, were listed by National Geographic as “Adventurers of the Year.”

When not lost on assignment or grumbling about his blisters, you can find McBride exploring the Rocky Mountains, practicing mandolin on his back porch in Colorado… or dancing.

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