A Day at the Falls of the Ohio


Majestic beauty thrives in all natural things. Curiosity drives me toward that beauty at the Falls of the Ohio. I’m uncertain why things are the way they are. The word “phenomena” can describe many things. For me, it describes everything natural at the falls.

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Joshua Mauser is a student of photojournalism at Western Kentucky University. While studying photography at Dupont Manual High School in Louisville, he traveled with a group of students to Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. He has won several awards for his work, including the Scholastics Gold Key for his film photography portfolio in 2008, the Scholastics honorable mention for an individual photography piece and second place in the 2007 Louisville Eccentric Observer photography contest (black and white).

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  1. The Falls is my favorite “local spot” to watch the sun set. I love walking on the fossil beds and picturing the coral reefs that once existed. It’s a place where I can find solitude. It’s also one of my favorite places to shoot family, senior and engagement photos. I have fond memories of my college geology professor bringing the area’s history alive while on a field trip to the Falls, before it was an attraction. Josh thanks for showing bringing an awareness to how society is polluting this glorious place.

  2. I earnestly like your photography, but wanted to correct you on a few things, especially regarding trash and debris that collects at the falls. There is a LARGE annual effort to rid the riverfront in this area of debris–volunteer groups, work by the Indiana Dept of Natural Resources, RiverSweep, etc. But a great deal of the problem occurs mainly due to geographic phenomena beyond anyone’s control. Due to the McAlpine Lock and Dam system, and the way the commonwealth of Kentucky handles high water debris, that causes trash to collect here. It disturbed me that you said, “it seems all of Louisville and Southern Indiana think otherwise.” That’s a pretty blatant generalization. Not only do MANY people care about this issue, MANY people VOLUNTEER time and effort to keep it as clean as POSSIBLE. The river flows 981 miles from Pittsburgh to here, so we get all that debris. I liken the phenomena to a bathtub being drained–this is the area lowest and nearest the drain which collects the most debris. I do like your photography, but perhaps in the future you might want to do further research before you make comments that so widely condemn so many as being apathetic and insensitive to an issue. Had you taken time to stop by the Falls Interpretive Center you would have been more informed about all the efforts taking place to keep the river as clean AS POSSIBLE. I’m sure your far too young to remember the Falls area prior to the state park being built, but i remember it clearly, and if you think it looks bad NOW, you should have seen it in the late seventies and early eighties, when massive cleanup efforts emerged and began to create the property that exists there now. It is part of the 1404 acre federal wildlife conservation area, 168 acres of it being leased and managed by the Indiana Dept of Natural Resources, which in my opinion does an excellent job maintaining and sustaining a property, that despite having a few flaws is a much more enjoyable green space tucked in next to a major metropolitan area with a population of close to a million people. How many other cities can boast having a 1400 acre wildlife conservation area in such close proximity to a major city? Not even New York can. Thanks.

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