Annapolis, MD — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced the winners of its 2019 photo contest.

About 2,500 photos were submitted by more than 500 photographers in this year’s contest. In addition to the overall grand prize winner, the judges selected first through third place winners in four seasonal categories—winter, spring, summer, and fall.

Photographer submitted images of landscapes, animals, birds, insects, and plants with preference being given to species that are native to Maryland. 

This year’s grand prize winner is David Illig of Gambrills for his stunning close-up shot of an eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly.

Illig won $500, a Maryland State Parks Passport, a five-year subscription to Maryland Natural Resource magazine, and five copies of the 2020 calendar with the winning image displayed on the cover.

Still to be determined is the “Fan Favorite,” which will be chosen by popular opinion on the department’s Facebook page. Followers are encouraged to “Like” and “Share” their pick when the photos are posted this weekend, with votes taken through September 30.

Other winners include:


First place: Splash Landing by Heather Rees of Rising Sun

Second place: Waiting for Spring by Kevin Moore

Third place: Darlene by Carol Ward of Salisbury


First place: Gone to Seed by Andrew Gosden of Catonsville

Second place: Female Red-Winged Blackbird by Larry Helms of Germantown

Third place: A Scurrying Skunk by Sharon Sexton of Frederick


First place: Papilio glaucus, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Head by David Illig of Gambrills

Second place: Diamondback Terrapin Hatchling Race to the Bay by James Rode of Dundalk

Third place: Patuxent Hike by Jessica Human of Hanover, PA


First place: Timber Rattlesnake by Stephen Hayes of Baltimore

Second place: Bold Jumper by Alex Andes-Gascon of Bethesda

Third place: Like Lichens by Matthew Westbrook of Elkridge

Click on this link to view their submissions.