Meet The Judges
Ruth is a full-time professional nature photographer, writer, public speaker, workshop leader, coach, and consultant with 30+ years’ experience teaching nature photography.
She enthusiastically works with photographers from all skill levels, ages, and walks of life, including youths from 8-18 years, US Veterans, artists’ groups, people with disabilities, and other specialized groups.
Ruth writes for the Journal of Wildlife Photography and manages its monthly photo contest.
A Certified Interpretive Guide and Certified Texas Master Naturalist, Ruth is best known for her Texas bird and wildlife photography and professional guiding services on private south Texas ranches, Costa Rica, and numerous other locations.
Cissy Beasley A native South Texan and Rockport resident, Cissy Beasley has been a professional photographer for 12 years. Her experience as a lifetime landowner has trained her to notice the details around her; with camera in hand, she captures and shares images of the creatures & scenes some may not notice – to tell nature’s story and foster a desire to care for our natural world.
A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Cissy is proud to be an associate broker with Spears & Co. Real Estate in Rockport; she owns & operates Texas Drone Lady, an aerial photography business serving the Rockport area.
Steve Freligh Cofounder and President of Nature’s Best Photography, outdoorsman and photographer, Steve Freligh studied zoology in college and worked as a seasonal research biologist for the U.S. Forest Service in Idaho. Steve documented wildlife behavior and his photographs and stories were quickly picked up by local periodicals, newspapers, and nonprofit organizations.
Soon, he was traveling the globe to discover iconic nature photographs and meet with leading professionals in the field. Returning to his home base in Virginia, Steve deepened his interests in journalism and publishing through a 15-year career in the publishing division at the National Wildlife Federation where he moved quickly from Editorial Assistant to Director of Photography before launching the first issue of Nature’s Best Photography in 1995 with his wife and cofounder, Deborah Freligh.
Danita Delimont founded her photo agency, now with over 1,400,000 images, in 2000. Her globally-based photographers offer worldwide coverage of our natural world and scenic beauty of our planet. Her highly curated fine art and landscape images are the culmination of many years understanding the needs of her myriad clients.
Regional scenics and iconic wildlife, as well as travel destinations and significant historic areas are all part of her collection. She brings 30+ years of experience in licensing stock images to a broad base of clients.
Danita was awarded the prestigious “Jane Kinne Picture Professional of the Year in 2009” and a “NANPA Fellow in 2007” and has served as a judge in various photo competitions including the SATW (Society of Travel Writers) Travel Photographer of the Year 2018 Competition, the Pro Tour and Valley Land Fund competitions in south Texas and the Lagarto Nature Photography Tournament in Costa Rica.