Tempest Hampton | Published: November 13, 2019

I took this photo at a waterfall in the Olympic National Forest. I had recently bought my camera, and was on my first trip to Washington.

I was feeling fragile, dealing with life-altering health issues while also while trying to accept that I needed to leave an abusive marriage. In many ways I felt as though something in me was irrevocably broken; but I had adopted a fierce determination to change my world. Seeing life through my camera became my safe harbor in the storm. Every picture I took was an escape.

When I came across this hidden place, I found myself mesmerized by this little tree that was struggling to live in a precarious spot against seemingly insurmountable odds. I saw stunning resilience and strength in it, which inspired me to see my situation with a new sense of courage.

I find Washington state to be awe-inspiring in its breathtaking landscape, and I will forever be grateful for the gifts my time there gave to me.

Tempest Hampton lives in Lakewood, Colorado, and visits her son in Ocean Shores when she can. Contact her at

Editor’s Note:

Amateur photographers are welcome to send high-resolution pictures depicting some element of life on the Washington Coast to be considered for the Last Shot. Please include photo title and description, as well as contact information. Send to