The shore awed this year's winners, who found inspiration in sunsets, seagulls, and exuberant youth.

By Katie Finley
July 27, 2005
Steve Krenzel

Beautiful images pass through the Coastal Living offices every day. You may think we'd grow numb to the photos of thunderous seas, bright skies, and smiling, sandy people―but we don't. We never tire of seeing how our photographers celebrate the coast.

Our contest winners know to keep a camera handy no matter the shoreline setting. A picture-perfect instant may crop up without notice. This year's winning photo pays tribute to quiet dusk, the indescribable moment when sun touches sea―so uniquely coastal.

First runner-up Erin Moon made a lasting memory of her niece, who arrived at the beach for the first time with wide-eyed glee. The curious 2-year-old wanted to know what the rolling water was all about. We think her moment of discovery, when she turned to her family and announced, "They're called waves!" is simply irresistible.

Second runner-up Dennis Panicali framed an artist using a brush instead of a camera to capture a Nantucket lighthouse scene.

Third runner-up Robert Dobna enchanted us with a vista from Nova Scotia, while fourth runner-up Robert Wall discovered a pair of sentinel-like seagulls in Jacksonville, Florida.

We hope these images, and the others on our pages, spirit you away to the magnificent seaside. When you get there, don't forget your camera.

Steve Krenzel
"Sundown at Surf City"
Barnegat Bay, Surf City, NJ

Erin Kathleen Moon
"They're Called Waves"
Myrtle Beach, SC

Dennis Panicali
Nantucket, MA

Robert Dobna
"Blue Rocks Backyard"
Nova Scotia, Canada

Robert Wall
"Sea Gulls on Watch"
Huguenot Park, Jacksonville, FL

Five Fabulous Prizes
Grand-prize winner will receive up to $500 toward airfare, a three-night stay for two, $100 credit toward food and beverage, and all applicable taxes and resort fees. Prize value is approximately $1,500. Courtesy of The Club at Hammock Beach.

First runner-up will receive a Pentax OptioWP all-weather digital camera. Prize value is approximately $350.

Second, third, and fourth runners-up will each receive $100.