Winners of the 2022 River Clicks Photo Contest

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Texas Horned Lizard

Last Updated on January 30, 2024


Winner: Jim Payne

The San Antonio River Authority (River Authority) hosted the fifth annual River Clicks Photo Contest this year. The photo contest is designed to enhance community appreciation of the San Antonio River Basin by celebrating its beauty through photography. The River Clicks Photo Contest also allows citizens to contribute to a library of photos that showcases River Authority parks and the thriving ecosystems and wildlife of the San Antonio River Basin. Participants of all skill levels were encouraged to take pictures while enjoying the outdoors in the San Antonio River Basin throughout Bexar, Wilson, Karnes, and Goliad counties. A total of 440 photos were submitted this year!

The contest invited a panel of five judges from a range of backgrounds to score submitted photos from each of these categories: Creeks and Rivers, Animals, Plants and Insects, Student, Recreation, Seasonal Variation, and Special Category. This year’s Special Category was the River Authority’s newest park in Karnes County, the Escondido Creek Parkway. An eighth category, People’s Choice, invited the public to vote online for their favorite photo from a list of 29 finalists. The judges also scored the entries by county, and the highest scored photo in that county won the Judge’s Choice. Winning photographers received outdoor recreation prize packages valued at up to $500 in each category and $1,000 in the Special Category. The winning photos will be showcased at the Witte Museum as part of their “Foto Septiembre” exhibit during September and October this year. They will also be featured in the River Authority’s 2023 calendar.

Recreation Category

Winner: John Von Dohlen, 25

“This photo was taken on a beautiful day in Goliad, TX! We dropped in at the Ferry St. landing and were able to take this shot in the late evening. We thought it was a really fun vantage point not typically seen—a bird’s eye view!”


Judges Choice-Karnes County

Winner: Richard O. Baltazar, 49

“After walking around the park for almost an hour, I really thought incorporating the pumping jack in the photograph was inevitable. Karnes County is known for its several pumping jacks situated within its borders and also the never-ending sight of oak trees in its landscapes. It was in the middle of the day, and the sunlight was overbearing, so I decided to go black and white to visibly show the texture of an oak tree in the foreground and to capture the light and shadows created by the sunlight. I thought going black and white made the photograph more dramatic and more pronounced. I really hope I somewhat have a similar reaction from the viewing audience.”

Oak and Pump Jack


Animals Category

Winner: Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, 52

Title: Water Ballet

“This image is of a blue heron just as it took off in flight from the river rocks. The view from behind shows the gorgeous wingspan, while its pose looks like that of a ballet dancer.”

Blue Heron


To see the complete list of winners and photographs, visit the 2022 River Clicks Winners. The River Authority will open the next River Clicks photo contest in March 2023, with the special category being San Pedro Creek Culture Park in Bexar County to celebrate its 5th Anniversary. Start taking pictures now and be on the lookout for more information on our social media channels @sanantonioriver.

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