Vacation photos capture travel destinations across California, world


Vacation photos was the assignment for this month’s Readers Photo Challenge. Vacations are for relaxing and visiting interesting and beautiful places. Of the 52 photos sent in by 13 readers, some were from as far away as Austria while others were as close as Carmel on the central coast and Lake Alpine in the Sierras. Whether close or far, here are some of the best of examples of what you did on your summer vacations.

Tom LaBounty took a dramatic photo while on his family vacation Morro Bay along the central coast of California. Morro Rock, the remnants of a volcanic plug, juts out of the ocean at the edge of the land and sea. A narrow causeway connects it to the shore. The rock, which stands about 580 feet tall, is the town’s main geographic feature. With a Google Pixel 6 pro cellphone, LaBounty captured the rolling, incoming fog as is swirled around and obscured the large rock, threatening to the swallow up the anchored sailboats in the foreground.

One of the reasons we go on vacation is to have fun and Lou Matz’s photo reminds us of that. With a Nikon D5100 DSLR camera the Stockton resident captured his 13-year-old son Tyler DiGuilio-Matz riding a boogie board being propelled by a wave at Huntington Beach in Southern California. The huge smile stretched across the boy’s face expresses the fun he’s experiencing.

Lou Matz of Stockton used a Nikon D5100 DSLR camera to photograph his 13-year-old son Tyler DiGuilio-Matz as he catches a wave at  Huntington Beach.

Bettina Engleman took an early morning walk up Kapuzinerberg, a hill on the eastern bank of the Salzach River in Salzburg, Austria. It was a steep climb up the paved path of the 2,100 ft. tall hill and Engleman had to stop several times to catch her breath. On one of those stops she used her Apple iPhone 11 to capture a sunrise beyond a building. The orange rays of the sun bathed the clouds in a warm glow. An old street lamp provides some visual interest in the foreground, and a curved path helps lead the viewers’ eyes into the scene compositionally. 

Tom LaBounty of Stockton used a Fuji GFX 100 mirrorless digital camera to photograph a panorama of Morro Rock and the PG&E power plant smokestacks I. Morro Bay.

Engleman’s husband Paul also came back from their trip with a great photo of the old city. From a high vantage point, he photographed an overall city/landscape of Salzburg, Austria. A street in the foreground and the Salzach River create strong diagonal lines, helping to lead the viewers’ eyes into the scene, which is populated by the buildings of the city, founded in the year 696. Three hills rise in the background and dramatic clouds fill the sky.

Andrew Dompeling of Stockton captured the serenity that we can sometimes find when traveling our big country. With a LG K51 smartphone, he photographed the Lake Champlain Bridge which connects New York to Vermont. The bridge and its arched support is reflected in the lake’s waters making a gentle oval composition. The early evening light painting the bridge and the gently rolling hills in the background helps emphasize the overall gracefulness of the image. 

Mark Condit of Manteca got his photo by getting away from it all. Condit vacationed in Moose Pass, Alaska. He experienced eight days of rain. But when he took a side trip to spend a night in a cabin “off the grid” at Johnson Lake, the skies opened up at about 5 p.m. while hiking to the cabin and he was able to catch a faint rainbow in the distance. 

All of the photos can be seen in a gallery at A new challenge assignment will be issued on Sept. 20.

Record photographer Clifford Oto has photographed Stockton and San Joaquin County for more than 37 years. He can be reached at or on Instagram @Recordnet. Follow his blog at Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at


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