• KIMBERLY BROWN/Staff CNI Newspapers Regional Publisher Alan Nesmith is shown with Melissa Elzey of Tiger. Elzey is the cover photo winner for the winter 2018 Edition of Lake Living magazine. Her photo of a snowy Lake Burton won her a $100 prize.

Elzey wins Lake Living cover contest

Melissa Elzey of Rabun County was “honored and surprised” when she learned her photo of Lake Burton after a fresh snowfall was chosen as the winter 2018 cover photo of Lake Living magazine.

“I’m so excited,” she said. “The cover, that’s an honor.”

Lake Living is a publication of Community Newspapers Inc., covering Northeast Georgia’s lakes. Three editions of the magazine – spring, summer and winter – are released each year. The winter 2018 edition includes stories about boat building, fly tying, fishing, lake house art and much more.

Elzey said she’s been a photographer since high school. She graduated in 1979 from North Georgia Technical College (NGTC) with a certificate in photography.

The Lake Burton photo was taken about three-quarters of a mile from Elzey’s mother’s home on Lake Burton. “It had snowed, and I love just getting out and taking photos of nature,” Elzey said of the February 2014 photo. “I started walking around and taking pictures of different scenes I thought were beautiful.”

Elzey, who lives in Tiger with her husband, Gary Elzey, works part-time at the Rabun County Health Department as a dental assistant. She is also a member of Foothills Photography Group, which meets monthly at NGTC.

“I’m semi-retired, and I consider myself semi-professional in photography,” she said.

About how she chose which photos to submit, Melissa Elzey said, “I picked several pictures, and I had friends look at them. I had more friends pick this one (the winning photo) than the others.”

CNI Newspapers Regional Publisher Alan NeSmith said he was impressed with the more than 60 quality entries received for the contest.

“Winter on the lake is a peaceful time, and our photographers captured that,” NeSmith said. “Choosing a winner was a tough decision. However, Melissa’s photo really stood out, with the new snow on the ground and on the boathouse. It’s such a tranquil winter scene.”

Some of the editorial staff’s favorite cover entry photos are featured on page 66, and several cover submissions were used inside as art for stories.

“We received some fantastic photographs,” NeSmith added. “We hope our readers will enjoy them as much as we did.”

Lake Living – a free publication – is available now at visitors centers, chambers of commerce and retailers throughout the Northeast Georgia region.

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