girl dancing in the sunset photographed by luxagraf
East Bay, Pensacola, Florida, United States

Bayside Sunset

Developing a photograph from long ago in Florida

This was one of our favorite hidden spots in Florida. Unfortunately it’s not hidden anymore, and last I heard it was closed to RVs, but it was pretty great when we were there in 2018. It was a small campground at the end of a dusty dirt road made of dried Florida red clay. We spent almost two weeks there and probably would have stayed longer, but we had plans to meet up with some people farther down the panhandle.

This image is the defining image of our time there for me. Every night after dinner we’d walk down the shore and watch the sun set over Pensacola Bay. Every night it was this spectacularly warm, slightly greenish light that I’ve never seen anywhere else. I didn’t actually take many pictures of the sunset, in fact this is one of only three I could find, but this managed to grab everything about those nights, at least for me. I think it looks like my daughter is dancing here, but she actually tripped on a root and is about to fall on the sand. But even she had tried to revise history to say she was just dancing. Dancing it is then.

Watch on YouTube

The campground is closed now and the Florida wildlife management won’t say when it’ll be reopened. I got the impression talking to the ranger the other day on the phone that the answer was never. That’s fine with me, it would never be the same, could never be the same, best to leave it in photo form, and in memory where it can’t be harmed.