A 23-year-old park ranger, living in Grand Teton National Park, has one of the most popular Instagram accounts in the Rocky Mountains.
Christina Warburg spends summers working as a park ranger and winters working at a lodge while blogging. In her spare time, she takes photos throughout Jackson Hole and then posts them to Instagram. In just six months, her pictures on the photo-sharing app put her on the map.
You have to wonder why a girl from Southern California eagerly moved to a tiny dorm in the middle-of-nowhere Wyoming.
“I was in third grade and I had a piece of art I made,” said Warburg. “It says when I grow up I want to be a park ranger in Yellowstone.”
It didn’t take long before her job with the National Park Service developed into a constant, almost obsessive hobby with photography. Warburg’s Instagram account has taken on a life of its own, racking up over 9,500 followers in just months.
“I think I’ve gotten over 200-something today,” said Warburg.
Her photos of the Tetons have landed her in a Time Magazine list of top 2014 photos, twice.
“So, that was really cool, and kind of the same thing with Outdoor Magazine,” said Warburg.
That’s when it really took off. Her photos gain likes by the thousands and comments by the hundreds.
“You know, it’s kind of rewarding to just see all those positive comments for sure,” said Warburg.
Those interactions led her to an even bigger reward; new camera buddy Kelsie Greenfield.
“The next morning we got stuck in a sleeting storm, snowshoe hiking,” said Greenfield.
“Basically, best friends ever since,” said Warburg.
The pair and other Instagrammers meet for sunsets on almost a nightly basis.
“The Instagram community’s been crazy, connecting people like that,” said Greenfield.
In a world full of filters and Photoshop, Warburg’s photos are not edited at all.
“From what I’ve heard, editing takes a lot of time, a lot of work and a lot of effort,” said Warburg. “I just don’t have the desire to be behind a computer all the time.”
But then again, why should she? Warburg’s busy, living out her third-grade dream.
“I like it too much to be a profession,” said Warburg. “I don’t want to ruin it, you know?”
If you’d like to check out Christina’s photos on her Instagram account click here.