Photo Contest: Chaska’s David Schmidt Captures a Moment at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

David Schmidt’s photo speaks to peaceful winters.

On a typical afternoon, David Schmidt can be found blazing one of many trails near his Chaska home. One particular morning in late 2014, he was running along one of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s trails when he decided to stop for a moment.

Schmidt says he often takes time during his runs to pause and listen to the sounds of nature. He felt there was something compelling about what he was seeing and hearing. “It had just snowed and there was no one else around,” Schmidt says. “It was relaxing, really serene.”

A year-round runner well-versed in the paths and trails of Chaska and the surrounding area, Schmidt describes his photos as “nothing fancy.” He uses his phone to log his stops during runs and posts the photos he captures along the way on his quickly growing Instagram account.

Out of everything in the photo, the pump house adds an interesting contrast to the muted colors after the recent snow, which Schmidt says was what drew him to take out his phone and snap the photo.

The pump house and native foliage frame what might go overlooked during the winter months: A frosted lake, leafless trees reaching toward heavy gray skies. “I think what I wanted to show was the contrast between the pump house and everything beyond it,” Schmidt says, adding that his photos aren’t always planned—he simply captures what speaks to him.

Without a doubt, Schmidt’s photo speaks to the peacefulness of Minnesota landscapes. “What I want is to encourage people to get outside, even during the winter,” he says. “I think you can enjoy nature regardless of the season.”