OKEECHOBEE – Few things in life are more enjoyable to April L. Martin than taking photos, whether they be of her husband Victor, her daughter Alexa or wildlife and nature around her.
After years of taking pictures that are enjoyed only be herself and her friends and family, one of Martin’s photos was recently selected to be on a puzzle highlighting life in Florida. A second was chosen to be on a calendar with the same theme.
A member of the Facebook group Okeechobee Nature Photographers, Martin said taking photos of nature is her passion, although she does enjoy taking pictures of anything going on around her.
Born and raised in Marion, Virginia, Martin said she has been taking pictures since she was a child. “My mom gave me my own little camera when I was about 7. It was fun seeing things with a different view.”
After her mom passed away the year Martin turned 21, she decided she wanted to do something different. She had always wanted to live in the big city, and this was her chance. A friend planned to move to Florida and asked Martin to come with her. She said she was moving there with two guys and needed someone to go with her. Later, the friend backed out, and Martin’s sister Julia decided to go with them instead. The four of them ended up sharing an apartment in Pompano. “We had no furniture. Julia and I slept on the floor in one room. I think we had pillows.” Later, they found out one of the guys was a wanted felon, and he stole some personal items from Martin, including heirlooms from her mom which were irreplaceable.
Martin went to work at McDonald’s, and Martin met and married her first husband and had her daughter. After their divorce, she met her present husband Victor and they moved to Okeechobee where Victor’s father lived. “I thought it would be a good place to raise Alexa.”
Alexa was born with a camera in her face and grew to love photography as well. She is in college studying film and plans to be a director.
Martin is self-taught but has gotten tips from some professionals. The Okeechobee Nature Photographer admins, Joanie and Andrew Tomlin, often do tutorials and blogs and are very helpful if anyone has a question.
The puzzle and calendar were created and sold by a company called Indie Treasure and can be found on their website. They have one for each state. Indietreasure.com.