Kris McCarthy
Submitted by Kris McCarthy

The Brigantine Beach Cultural Arts Commission names Kris McCarthy the November artist of the month. View her work in the showcase in the lobby of the Brigantine Community Center.

I'm a physical therapist and clinical director at the Bacharach satellite office at 3201 W. Brigantine Ave. since we opened in 2003. For as long as I can remember, I've always loved nature and exploring. (How many 4-year-olds do you know who kept getting grounded for wandering off too far in the neighborhood?) That love of travel and exploration has followed me into adulthood.

I used to live vicariously through my older siblings and my dad when he had to travel for work. (I did get to bum along on a trip with him and Mom to West Palm Beach, Florida, in third grade and with my sisters for a long weekend in D.C. to see the city and as many museums as we could fit in when I was in my teens). Now I get to explore with my partner in crime, my husband.

Every year we try to take one "big" trip for our anniversary and a few small road trips (hopefully on our motorcycles — it's an amazing way to slow down and really SEE those "off the beaten path" type places). It's the perfect gift: We get to spend time with each other.

He plans the even years and I get the odd years. So every other year I get to kick back and just show up for the trip. Neither of us are big with souvenirs. We try to live in the moment and take it all in. So we started taking photos.

Some of those photos made it into albums or frames, but some of the places we've gone too are just too ... great ... to be contained and have made their way onto walls at home and at work. Which is how I ended up here as artist of the month.

Among the posters of general anatomy and potential injuries of the spine and extremities that hang on the wall in our PT office here in Brigantine are posters from some of our travels to Croatia, the Amalfi Coast in Italy, South Africa and Utah, and a few exotic pictures from our own backyards. (I can't take credit for some of the Brigantine Beach shots, those were from former clients.)

While I don't see myself as an artist (I just go to places where it's idiot-proof to take bad pictures), I do see myself as a girl who enjoys the adventure of wanderlust. And if my pictures inspire you to travel and explore, whether it's the park down the street or an amazing safari halfway around the world, then I have been successful. Thank you for the opportunity to share my pictures; enjoy the journey.

Stay informed! Sign up to receive top headlines from Atlantic County delivered to your inbox.