BY KEANNA HIEBERT
While volunteering in Lima, Peru this summer, a few friends and I had the opportunity to take a weekend trip to Huacachina, a desert oasis nestled between a maze of sand dunes that stretched on for miles. The town surrounded a small lake where lush palm trees pushed their way up through the barren earth and provided shade from the hot desert sun. Being here felt like a dream; like the scenes in old cartoons of a paradise that melts away into a mirage when you get too close. It was real, though, and I am forever grateful to have those photographs and memories that now belong to me.
We spent most our time sandboarding and riding dune buggies, intoxicated by the energy of the small village. I’ll never forget what it felt like to be so full of adrenaline and happiness, and to see that same feeling on the faces of everyone around me. These moments are the ones that you expect to be memorable; the ones that are so electric and lively that they would be impossible to forget. For me, however, the most memorable moment of the trip was one that I spent in complete silence and stillness, in pure awe of what was around me.
Our bus back to Lima was leaving in a couple of hours and we wanted to make one last trek into the desert before being thrown back into the crowds of the city. Gathering our backpacks and cameras, we began hiking up the massive dunes. If you walk in any direction here for even a short amount of time, you find yourself completely alone. Every now and again a dune buggy will appear in the distance, or you’ll see another group of hikers making their way to the top of a different dune. For the most part though, you’re surrounded by nothingness. I remember standing in the powdery orange sand and watching the storm clouds roll in, their dark blues mixing with the pinks and yellows of the setting sun. I’ve seen plenty of beautiful sunsets before, but I’ve never experienced one exactly like this. There’s something special about being surrounded by absolutely nothing but brilliant color; no obstructions, no noise, no anything. I felt like I was in a painting. Capturing times like these on camera has always been important to me because moments are very brief. Soon the sun fell behind the dunes and although we stayed for as long as possible, we too found ourselves rushing back into town to catch the bus back to the city. On the ride home, I prayed that I’d never run out of finding places that make me feel this alive.
Keanna Hiebert was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. Currently, she is in university for visual communication design, specializing in photography. Travelling with her family since she was young, she is always looking for the next adventure. You can find her current work at www.keannahiebertphotography.com.
Keanna Hiebert 出生並成長於艾伯塔省的埃德蒙頓。目前在大學任教視覺傳播設計，專攻攝影。她自幼便同家人一同周遊，並一直期待著下一段探索。你可以在 www.keannahiebertphotography.com 找到她的作品。