Megan and Christal Goddard had planned to travel from Santa Fe to Washington State in August 2020, where they'd wed along the Columbia River near Kalama—then COVID-19 public health orders forced a change.

Instead of saying their vows with an audience of 60 friends and family followed by a reception, the brides chose an intimate ceremony closer to home with only two guests—each of their sisters as maids of honor—staged just before sunset atop the isolated ivory gypsum at White Sands National Park. Donning gas masks afterward to mark the occasion was Christal's idea, and photographer Logan Monroe chose the spot for the portrait as pink kissed the sky above a mountain in the background.

The image wins first place in the SFR 2021 Photo Contest.

"It was a beautiful day," Monroe tells SFR. "For me, just driving there to White Sands, it felt like for the longest time I had been stuck in Albuquerque. It was so nice to finally have a break from that…and then when we got there and the sun set, it just really made me feel optimistic in a time when I felt really grim."

Those extra efforts to find beauty and small-scale interpersonal connection factored into judging. Gone were the crowded Plaza streets and art market days and, in their place, even more contemplation of the natural world, which is why the panel chose Luke Linhoff as second-place winner for birds crossing a colorful sky at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Third place goes to Gail MacQuesten for the nostalgic and candid look at a family cruising through Santa Fe in their lowrider.

1st Place

Never Say Goodbye

By Logan Monroe
White Sands National Park

2nd Place

Soaring, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Soaring, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge | Luke Linhoff

Soaring

By Luke Linhoff
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

3rd Place

Family Outing, Santa Fe Plaza
Family Outing, Santa Fe Plaza | Gail MacQuesten

Family Outing

By Gail MacQuesten
Santa Fe Plaza

Honorable Mentions

Otherworldly, Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah, San Juan County
Otherworldly, Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah, San Juan County | Harvey Maisel

Otherworldly

By Harvey Maisel
Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah, San Juan County
Old Energy, New Energy on Route 66, Tucumcari
Old Energy, New Energy on Route 66, Tucumcari | Helen Schoch

Old Energy, New Energy on Route 66

By Helen Schoch
Tucumcari
Autumn, Santa Fe River
Autumn, Santa Fe River | Pierre L. Lorillard

Autumn

By Pierre L. Lorillard
Santa Fe River
Canyon Sunset, El Diablo Canyon
Canyon Sunset, El Diablo Canyon | Tom Coplen

Canyon Sunset

By Tom Coplen
El Diablo Canyon
Abstraction, Tent Rocks
Abstraction, Tent Rocks | Isabella Luconi

Abstraction

By Isabella Luconi
Tent Rocks
Bubo, Great Horned Owl, New Mexico Wildlife Center, Española
Bubo, Great Horned Owl, New Mexico Wildlife Center, Española | Priscilla C. Footlik

Bubo, Great Horned Owl

By Priscilla C. Footlik
New Mexico Wildlife Center, Española
Sunset on the Rail Trail, Santa Fe
Sunset on the Rail Trail, Santa Fe | Aaron Foster

Sunset on the Rail Trail

By Aaron Foster
Santa Fe

See all the winners during a special, socially distanced SFR Photo Show at the Santa Fe Outlet Mall in the window of Unit 116, 10 am to 6 pm Monday-Saturday and 11 am to 6 pm on Sundays, Feb. 18 through March 18, courtesy of Vital Spaces, Monsoon Design and Lost Padre Records. Purchase posters and prints at sfreporter.com/shop.