Our journey takes us south along the Gulf of Mexico to St. Martins Marsh located in Citrus County near the towns
of Homosassa Springs and Crystal River. St. Martins Marsh is roughly 31,000 acres of submerged lands. Open water,
inlet bays, tidal rivers, creeks, saltmarsh and a series of hammock islands provide habitat for a rich and diverse
For thousands of years, artists have captured nature's wonders through pen and paint. For Karen Anderson, St.
Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve is the ideal studio for capturing the natural beauty of Florida.
I go out and I do research. The staff takes me out on their airboat and we go through the saltmarsh and we just
peruse and see the vastness and the diversity that's out there. And I just try to take specific species and put
them together in posters and art work, the paintings. Just that feeling of awe is the feeling I have when I sit
down and I draw. The inspiration I have is strictly coming from nature and knowing that, having the art talent to
be able to use that talent for an educational purpose towards the public and showing them how important nature is
to each of us. The key point to me is knowing that nature is just so important to each of us; it really is. This
is what we need to protect and we need to respect it.
Herons, egrets, ibis, wood storks and other wading birds feed on the mud flats and edges of the marshes. Many
commercial and recreational fish species spawn in the marsh or live there for a large part of their life.
People just don't realize how important nature is to them. You sit at home and you watch tv; you're on the computer;
you are in the comfort of your home. People are meant to be surrounded by nature. I mean, who doesn't enjoy watching
the sunset? Who doesn't enjoy walking outside and hearing the birds sing and the smell of the pine forest?