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Explore Texas -- A Nature Travel Guide 

~ published by ~
Texas A&M University Press

Includes nearly 300 full-color photos
by awarding-winning
nature photographer, Jeff Parker


Explore Texas -- A Nature Travel Guide               

A book for nature lovers who love to travel and travelers who love nature!™

Those who love both will appreciate this easy-to-use guide to Texas’ top nature-friendly destinations.

Nearly 300 full-color photographs accompany this unique travel/field guide combo, which features nature-related venues statewide and a “Learn” section for each one so that you arrive knowing something about its special natural attraction.    

Also included are tips such as how to dress (when that matters), what to bring, the best time to go, which venues work best for kids, relevant websites, and important travel info.

Explore Texas: A Nature Travel Guide was awarded a 2016 "Excellence in Craft Award" by the Texas Outdoor Writers' Association (TOWA).  It was nominated for a 2016 "Reading the West" award.

Publishers' Weekly included it in their spring roundup of Best Travel Books of 2016


Look for Explore Texas -- A Nature Travel Guide in both print and e-book formats.

More info: https://www.facebook.com/ExploreTexasNaturally




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Check out
Images for Conservation Fund

Buy this book from Amazon.

Images for Conservation - Book Two: Coastal Bend, Texas Edition

Mary O. Parker – Lead Writer:

Mary O. lives near Austin, Texas, with her husband Jeff, a professional nature/wildlife photographer.  Her non-fiction pieces focus on wildlife, habitat conservation, nature tourism, and outdoor family fun.

Of stewardship, Mary O. says, “To me, the concept of reigning over Earth’s creatures means we’ve been entrusted with the moral responsibility to properly take care of them. It does not mean we’ve been given free reign to needlessly destroy other living things and pillage the land just because we can.”

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Check out Coastal Bend
Wildlife Photo Contest: http://www.wildlifephotocontest.com

Wildlife in Focus V: The Art of Survival

Mary O. Parker – Contributor
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This college textbook takes a genre approach to teaching writing and features a lesson based on Mary's article, "Bingo!" 

Published by Pearson Education

Choices Writers Make


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The non-profit Images for Conservation is an organization dedicated to the conservation of private lands through the economically sustainable business of nature photography.

Buy this book from Amazon.

Images for Conservation – Book Three: Borderlands of Laredo, Texas Edition

Mary O. Parker – Co-Writer:  Mary O. (as she's known),  a freelance writer, novelist, and nature-lover, lives on a 13-acre nature preserve on the outskirts of a small central-Texas town. Her work includes dozens of articles on topics that include travel, family, nature, conservation, education, and pieces with appeal to general audiences.

In June 2016, Mary O. and her husband Jeff, an award-winning nature photographer, released Explore Texas -- A Nature Travel Guide (Texas A&M University Press). 

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Fiction / Prose Poetry

  • Edge literary journal, Fall 2016 - Prose Poetry - "Dancing Down"
  • Riptide Journal, University of Exeter, Spring/Summer 2016, "Pearl Pitches a Fit"
  • pacificREVIEW 2013, San Diego State University - Spring 2013 - Flash Fiction - "Mighty Old Horses
  • Iridum Sound: The Again, #8 - February 2013 - Short Story: "Chirp!"
  • Texas Observer - 2012 Short-Story Contest - Honorable Mention for "Speaking in Tongues"
  • Texas Observer - 2011 Short-Story Contest - Honorable Mention for "Pearl's Red-Icing Fit"

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Creative Non-Fiction

  • Kenyon Review, 2021 - Creative Nonfiction - "Currents & Eddies" - RUNNER-UP, Prize for Short Creative Nonfiction 2020
  • Fourth Genre, 2020 - Essay - "Sanctuary"
  • Mississippi Review, Summer 2019 - Creative Nonfiction - "Cache & Consequence" - WINNER, Mississippi Review Prize for Creative Nonfiction, 2019
  • Reed Magazine, Spring 2016 - Creative Nonfiction - "Darling Niki in Chicago"- WINNER, Gabriele Rico Challenge for Creative Nonfiction, 2015
  • Main Street Rag, Spring 2014 - Essay - "40 What?"
  • Sheepshead Review, University of Wisconsin - Spring 2013 - Creative Nonfiction - "Aliens
  • Writers' Digest - 2010 Honorable Mention, Magazine Feature Article category for "Natural Passions of Children"