• Alina Cebula

Dreamy winter

When I arrived to Morskie Oko after a long, cold hike with a backpack that seemed heavier than me, a beautiful, thin coat of snow was decorating the peaks of the mountains. Soft, small clouds were wandering near the mountain wall. I rushed inside to check in to my room. I grabbed my camera and overly excited, I ran outside to discover the essence of the quick changing weather at this altitude. The mountains were no longer there and instead, only a small gap in the clouds close to the lake reflected beautifully from the water. This didn’t at all discourage me. I went for a walk around the lake. I was trying to show in my photos how happy I am to be there, but at the same time how cold and tiring the journey was. It soon got dark, and this is when I took my first photograph. An image of the shelter reflecting from the very still and clear lake. The clouds were still covering the top part of the mountains, this has simplified the shot. A blue hour at around 16:10, there was no one around. It was so cold; every breath created a line of steam. The cold, dark, blue landscape was now surrounding the warm glowing shelter that seemed to call me from afar. This was my happy place, something positive, glowing to get attention amongst the overwhelming cold landscape. And so, I returned and spent the rest of the day settling in.

Second day was more eventful. I woke up to a scenery I dreamed of. I looked outside the window, everything was blue, the sun hasn’t risen just yet. It was bright outside. Pure, white, fluffy snow was reflecting the blue sky, making the scenery look almost abstract. With even more excitement, half asleep, and wrapped up with as many layers as I could, I ran outside with my camera. It was like a winter wonderland. Everything was silent and still. There were no footsteps on the freshly fallen snow. Beautiful pine trees surrounding the lake were frozen. The snow on the mountain wall across me was now meeting the water. The motionless reflection made it seem so much more powerful. Morskie Oko was now slightly frozen, with a coat of snow gracefully covering each rock. I stopped, and I listened to the complete silence. Fresh, cold air was now filling my lungs. It was colder than yesterday. A small wave was slowly flowing back and forth, crashing into a block of ice and creating air bubbles underneath. An island of soft transparent cloud formed in the middle of the mountains, reminding me that this view will not last forever. I walked towards the edge of the water and made an image. It wasn’t long until this cloud developed into a sheet of white curtain, taking the mountains away from me once again.

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