Bonita Springs Florida

Bonita Springs, FL is located on the Gulf of Mexico between Fort Myers and Naples. I’ve been going down to visit since my wife Courtney started taking me there around 2005.

As a professional photographer since 2004, there’s no “vacation” from shooting (mostly because it’s not work), so I’ve built up a pretty good catalog of images of Bonita Springs and the surrounding area.

This is the first time I’m sharing a comprehensive post about what it’s like to visit the area. These images date from 2010 to 2019.

The Beach

bonita-springs-florida Barefoot beach
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bonita-springs-florida
bonita-springs-florida

Wildlife

Bonita Springs is a great place for wildlife. Egrets and gopher tortoises (pictured below) are plentiful. Manatees are visible if you take a boat through one of the many inland bays. And while not native, I couldn’t resist a photo of feeding the giraffes at the local zoo.

Local Color

Florida is a colorful place and Bonita Springs is no exception. This section of images isn’t really any particular category other than to capture the look and feel of the area.

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Barefoot Beach

Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs is a beachfront community of homes and condos just south of Fort Myers. It’s bordered by a nature preserve on the south. The beaches in the community are private, but nature preserve is open to the public for a small fee during daylight hours. Barefoot Beach Preserve has its own photo story you can see here.

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bonita-springs-florida
bonita-springs-florida

Safari Golf

“Which day are we going to Safari Golf?” is one of the first questions asked when we announce the dates of our annual (+/-) trip to Bonita Springs. It’s not the newest & slickest mini-golf place in the area, but it’s definitely the most charming and it earned its place in our hearts.

I have probably 6 or 7 years of Safari Golf photos, but I’ll limit it to just a few to give you the flavor. After a few years of visits, we ended up talking to the owner and found out he was an Indiana native before heading south and ultimately opening this little spot in paradise. Maybe that’s why we connected with this place to begin with: we could sense the Hoosier in it.

The Club

We’re fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time at The Club at Barefoot Beach. What’s better than having drinks, food and more drinks brought to your chair on the beach or by the pool? The answer is nothing.

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bonita-springs-florida

Royal Scoop

Royal Scoop has some of the best ice cream anywhere. ANYWHERE. No trip to Bonita Springs is complete without at least 5 visits to Royal Scoop. Don’t be discouraged if the line is out the door. They are one of the few places I’ve been to that staff their restaurant appropriately, so the lines move quickly.

To see more local stories, check out my posts on Barefoot Beach Preserve and Bonita Skies. If you’re into the tropical vibe, be sure to see the stories about the Florida Keys.

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barefoot beach preserve bonita springs florida

Gulf Skies

Here are some never-before-seen photos from my Florida archive. This series of skies are all shot from the same stretch of beach in Bonita Springs, Florida, (many in the exact same spot) on different days and years. Sky and water only. NO FILTERS.

bonita-springs-florida-sky barefoot beach at sunset
bonita-springs-florida-sky barefoot beach sunrise
bonita-springs-florida-sky barefoot beach at sunset
bonita-springs-florida-sky barefoot beach clouds
bonita-springs-florida-sky barefoot beach sunrise
bonita-springs-florida-sky barefoot beach storm
bonita-springs-florida-sky barefoot beach at sunset
bonita-springs-florida-sky barefoot beach
bonita-springs-florida-sky barefoot beach sunset
bonita-springs-florida-sky barefoot beach sunset after rain

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barefoot beach preserve bonita springs florida

Barefoot Beach Preserve

A walk through native landscapes

Humans and nature are inextricably linked and I work to show that when I shoot nature and landscapes. Walking through Barefoot Beach Preserve in Bonita Springs, FL is an interesting experience.

As I began down the trail, a thicket of native plant life surrounded me. But as I progressed, I noticed more and more signs of human life.

The images below reflect this progression.

Into nature

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barefoot-beach-preserve-florida
barefoot-beach-preserve-florida

An unexpected visitor

While shooting some detail shots of the plant life, I happened to catch a small creature on the leaves. I didn’t notice it when I took the original image, but while editing I found it and cropped the second image to get a better view. Wish I noticed that when I was taking the photo! I could’ve gotten some even better images of it.

“It was a shock to notice the construction through the trees, a building rising from the earth.”

barefoot-beach-preserve-florida
barefoot-beach-preserve-florida

Walking down the trail at Barefoot Beach Preserve, feeling completely immersed in nature, it was a shock to notice the construction through the trees, a building rising from the earth. That moment snapped me back to realize where I actually was, and that unless you’re traveling to the most remote of places, humans are always present having some sort of an impact.

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Shell yeah

When the trail reached the beach, dozens of retirees walked the surf picking up shells or just the morning.

I felt that all of the human interactions were important to document with my camera. I want to create a visual record of our world. Viewing images and drawing my own conclusions from people, places and moments in time is what pulled me to photography, and what I aim to do with my work.

barefoot-beach-preserve-florida
barefoot-beach-preserve-florida
barefoot-beach-preserve-florida

Where are some of your favorite places to explore? What type of human interactions with nature do you encounter? Tell me in the comments!

To view some other images of images of Florida nature, check out my post on state parks in the Florida Keys.

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