Photo exhibit captures beauty of Cat Island

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - A South Mississippi photographer hopes images of his beloved Cat Island will inspire more people to explore its beauty. Eric Wyble's photography exhibit "Cat Island By Kayak" is on display right now at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast library. Wyble talked about why he is so fascinated by this barrier island.

"Cat Island is one of the most beautiful barrier islands and it's right off our coastline," said Wyble, who lives in Pass Christian. "Whether you get there by kayak or by boat it's there for people to enjoy."

With his kayak and his camera, Wyble has spent a lot of time getting to know Cat Island. He said Cat has a quite different personality from its neighboring barrier islands.

"You have Ship Island which is very tourist. A lot of people go to Horn," Wyble said. "But Cat is pretty much desolated when you get there. Because the water is so shallow boaters tend to stay away."

Wyble said, "When you're there you almost feel like the island is yours. You're walking most of the times by yourself. If you read a little bit about the history of Cat you almost feel like you're walking in someone's footsteps when you're there."

Before there was an exhibit, there was the Cat Island By Kayak book.

"The whole show came about because it's almost a reflection of a self-published book I did on Cat Island," he said. "It includes like journal articles and feelings I felt when the photographs were taken. So those words were with the pictures trying to give you some insight into the pictures."

Dozens of pictures make up the display. Wyble said none of the photos are computer manipulated. Some he colored by hand and everything is shot on film.

Wyble said, "Many of the pictures you see the photos are infrared black and white. They kind of give a more moodiness more contrast than normal black and white."

Although storms have taken their toll on his beloved Cat Island, Wyble said he's an optimist it will rise again like a Phoenix.

"Mother Nature is always changing. We as people are always changing," Wyble said. "Always look for the good in things and keep a positive outlook on things. There is always something positive that you can get out of the negative."

His hope is those who see his photos will be inspired to experience Cat Island for themselves. Eric Wyble's photo exhibit on Cat Island will be at the USM library through August 22 and if free to the public.

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