My July 2018 Photo of the Month is Summer Overlook, taken at the Pine Valley overlook along San Diego County’s Sunrise Highway.
Summer Overlook Background
After feeling the pre-Summer doldrums in June, the marine layer along the Pacific Coast has started to break. That brings the Summer heat, and it has started to get very warm in Southern California.
With all that warmth comes the monsoonal season. While our monsoons wouldn’t be confused for what you would see in Asia (or the greater Southwest U.S. for that matter), the formation of clouds every afternoon is beautiful. It reminded me of some of my Summer trips in the Southwest the last couple years. It seemed that every afternoon was ready-made for beautiful photographs. August and September should be even better for San Diego County.
Not every afternoon monsoon in San Diego County stays put. Often, they push along the rain shadow on Laguna Crest and evaporate. They also will blow over the mountains and out into the desert. What was cloudy at one hour could be completely clear the next.
When some of the clouds stay put, you can get a sunset like my Summer Overlook photograph. I have always enjoyed this overlook above Pine Valley. I am not sure if this area was meant for that purpose, because it was originally the location where the dirt from the building of the modern lower Sunrise Highway. This is exactly where the current road diverges from the narrow road which preceded it up the canyon.
I framed the chaparral below to give this image a sense of balance. And while I am the world’s worst botanist, at least I can say they look nice because they were flowering. I took this photograph with my good friend Chris Horn, who was down for the weekend. Always great to get out with good friends who enjoy nature as much as you do.
As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.