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Image of mountain splendor helps library

Outdoor photographer Peter Marbach will be at the Hood River County Library from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 1 to sign copies of his latest fine art print, "Morning at Mt. Hood."

The prints will be available to the public for $25 each, with profits going to the library building project.

Marbach loves to capture moments in nature with his medium format camera and preserve them as fine art prints for others to enjoy.

He moved to the Hood River area from Maine eight years ago. When his wife, Lorena Sprager, took a position as Healthy Communities Director at La Clinica, it gave him an opportunity to professionally pursue photography, which until then had been merely a hobby.

"I went on several long treks when I was younger, all of them in support of non profit causes," said Marbach. "I walked across England and Scotland and hiked the lengths of both the Apalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail in three separate time periods of six months each. These treks gave me a love of the outdoors and formed the basis of my wishing to capture natural images on film."

He traveled with Up With People and was a professional musician for a number of years. After that he worked for non profit or environmental causes.

Today Marbach works primarily in color. For the past several years he has driven and walked around Oregon pointing his camera at rural scenes. He recently signed a contract with Oregon-based publisher, Beautiful America, who will produce his photo essay on the beauty of Oregon farm country and the people who work the land. This coffee table book will go to press in 2002.

"I underwent major heart surgery in June," said Marbach. "It changed the way I look at things, and it has affected my work accordingly. My latest images are more focused, better, stronger, and sharper. I feel less rushed. I am concentrating on quality work these days. I realize that I have a lot to live for."

At the Saturday print-signing, Marbach will meet with the public and will be glad to discuss various aspects of his work. Framing options for the prints will be available. Cider and cookies will be served during the event.

Library director June Knudson said, "I first met Peter as Sofia's dad when the two of them came together to the library's weekly pre-school story hour. I so appreciate Peter's generosity in offering this fine print as a fundraiser for the library. `Morning at Mt. Hood' is a beautiful print with the same fine quality that has made Peter's Mt. Hood Jazz Festival posters so beloved."

In addition to the Mt. Hood print, several of Marbach's newest framed photographic images will be on display and will remain in the library for sale through the month of December.

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