Ana "Cris" Garcia
Cris' education began at Louisiana State University (LSU), where she eventually earned both of her degrees. Her grandfather had graduated from LSU; he was a talented amateur photographer and passed the hobby on to her father. She dappled in her grandfather's hobby, borrowing her father's cameras and building a darkroom in the basement. She took an introductory photography course while pursuing her B.S. in Animal Sciences. Her second degree, a M.S. in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, she stumbled into haphazardly. She had read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Eugene Linden's The Octopus and the Orangutan, and Robert Kurson's Shadow Divers. She craved not only the adventure that came from being a marine biologist, but had also realized the importance of safeguarding our environmental resources (a student fellowship and free ride to Alaska also contributed to her decision). Although she had little time for practicing her photography, this passion never left her and she would often photograph the lakes and bayous of Southern Louisiana while out collecting samples. Through her career in marine biology she was soon introduced to underwater photography. She purchased a underwater camera housing and flew to couch-surf and SCUBA dive her way around Australia. While in Australia, Cris volunteered to photograph manta rays as part of "Project Manta", an effort to identify the migration and behavioral patterns of individual manta rays passing by Lady Elliot Island. Her photography quickly expanded from shooting underwater scenes to include landscape, wildlife, and travel photography. She also became deeply enthralled with deep-sky imaging, using a telescope, and landscape astrophotography.
Cris joined the Louisiana Photographic Society in 2014 and was awarded the "Photographer of the Year" award the following year and once again in 2017. She currently serves on the educational board and has served as the club's exhibit coordinator organizing gallery exhibits at various locations around Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 2015, Cris was awarded the Morgan/O’Neill Underwater Photography Grant from the Women Diver's Hall of Fame. Her photographs and articles have been featured in Wheels of Time magazine, Bus Conversion Magazine, SCUBA Diver magazine and on the online travel website, Outdoor Project. Through the Louisiana Photographic Society she has presented lectures and has lead multiple workshops on ultraviolet-, infrared-, and astro-photography. Cris' current projects include restoring and travelling in a vintage 1963 GM bus to photograph all of America's national parks. To date she has made it to 38 national parks and many more national historic sites, national monuments, and state parks. As a scientist and photographer, Cris' primary goal is to promote habitat and wildlife conservation through photography. She hopes that her photographs inspire others to seek out and forge their own connections with nature.