Steve Zmak captures the essence of California and the West through
photography that speaks to the soul.

A native Californian, Steve’s love of the outdoors, science and history inspired him to begin capturing the awesome beauty of the natural world and interpreting it for others to enjoy. Today, he continues to find inspiration in wild corners of the world.

Steve is a fine art photographer, commercial advertising photographer and graphic designer. In 2009, he published “A Year in the Vineyard.” This stunning collection of more than 100 photographs takes readers on a visual journey through four seasons in four vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County, Calif. Steve also teaches photography workshops in area vineyards and on the Monterey Bay.

Steve’s photographs capture an ideal of the West, pristine and untouched by encroaching development. From a lone surfer on a desolate beach to a sunrise breaking through oak trees, his pictures invite viewers to revel in the moment and make it their own. His photography celebrates the culture, history, and lifestyle of California and the West, and illustrates his deep spiritual connection to the natural world and our place in it.

“I believe we are all elements of nature, and we cross a line when we believe we can elevate ourselves above nature. We have a place in the greater scheme; we are not the greater scheme.”

Working from his Marina, Calif. home studio, Steve enjoys shooting the West’s most breathtaking landscapes, from rugged coastal bluffs to sun-drenched valleys and blossoming vineyards to rushing mountain streams and trickling glaciers. He works to protect the environment through his local activism and contributions to conservation causes. He donates 10 percent of the proceeds from every photography sale to nonprofits working for the environment.

“Whether it’s the water that quenches us, the air that sustains us, the food that nourishes us, or the connection we share with all living things, it is imperative that we balance the need for ‘jobs and growth’ with the simple ability for all of us, regardless of economic status, to survive and thrive on this planet.”

Steve’s photographs have been exhibited at the National Steinbeck Center, Center for Photographic Art, California State Capitol Museum, Monterey Museum of Art, and several California wineries.

“I am a Lorax. Are you one, too?”

A lone surfer exits the ocean across lava rocks with king tides washing in and out just after sunset.

The sun goes down, the surfers paddle in, and the photographers get their last shots.