Travel Photography

Tracing Family History through Montana

For 163 years, my family had a presence in Montana’s Madison Valley. In the 1860s, my ancestors, William H. Ennis and Myron D. Jeffers and their families settled on either side of the Madison Valley, establishing the towns of Ennis and Jeffers, which still bear their names. Since the ‘80s, my grandmother was the last to live in Ennis, in little home on Main Street between the bank and the library. When we could, my family would join her there for Thanksgivings and 4th of Julys. This year, we returned for the fourth and we did the usual things: went to the pancake breakfast fundraiser at the firehouse and the rodeo, watched the parade from the same spot we always had. But this time, the little house on Main Street was gone, now just an empty square of dirt. My grandmother wasn’t with us — she passed last October — and we celebrated her life at the little church in Jeffers she attended for decades. After the memorial,  I stayed in Montana with my family, and learned more about my family’s history than I’d ever known: about my ancestors who made home in this valley, those they relied on, those they displaced, and the ways people can be connected to a place and to each other. 

All images © Greta Rybus

Adventures in Zanzibar - An Island Gem of the Indian Ocean

Images from an adventure to Zanzibar, an island with a rich history and complex culture off the coast of Tanzania. Zanzibar reminded me from a favorite story, the title selection from a favorite collection of short stories: “The Shell Collector,” by Idaho-based writer, Anthony Doerr.

“Why this lattice ornament? Why these fluted scales, those lumpy nodes? Ignorance was, in the end, and in so many ways, a privilege: to find a shell, to feel, it, to understand only on some unspeakable level why it bothered to be so lovely. What joy he found in that, what utter mystery.

Every six hours the tides plowed shelves of beauty onto the beaches of the world, and here he was, able to walk out into it, thrust his hands into it, spin of piece of it between his fingers. To gather up seashells - each one an amazement- to know their names, to drop them into a bucket: this was what filled his life, what overfilled it.”

© Greta Rybus

New Adventure // Senegal

 
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I spent the month of March in Saint Louis, Senegal (also called Ndar), as an artist in residence at Waaw Senegal working on a larger documentary project. It has become my favorite trip I’ve ever taken. I am absolutely fascinated by Western Africa: Senegal is a Wolof-speaking, predominantly Muslim former French colony and this cultural melange is revealed in food, music, architecture, etc. Being a visitor in a place like Senegal is exhilarating: every day provides new questions and answers and offers vibrant, intense and beautiful experiences. 

All images © Greta Rybus 

Taking a new route for Idaho Magazine

 
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“I turn West on 52: this is where the true adventure begins. I’ve never been on this road. It is new geography, but with the same ochre hills and blue, blue sky that I love Southern Idaho for. I take a photo of the hills and the sky and wonder if such a landscape feels as beautiful to someone who wasn’t raised in it.”

Fresh work for Idaho Magazine: a story I wrote and photographed about setting off to find new people and places in my home state.

Images © Greta Rybus

Nebo Lodge on North Haven

 
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Unless you know someone on North Haven Island, Nebo Lodge is the only place to stay on the beautiful and remote island. It’s woven into the tight-knit fabric of the island: furnished by treasures found in thrift stores by the inn’s gardener and the food supplied by the the thriving Turner Farm. The mainland isn’t so far away, but Nebo feels like a world of it’s own. 

Taken for Maine Magazine’s Hospitality Issue. 

All images © Greta Rybus