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Inspiration at home and abroad

Riderwood couple discovers more time to pursue their passion for photography, travel

Created date

August 4th, 2016
Professional photographer Marketa Ebert and her husband David enjoy traveling together and taking photos of the places they visit.

Professional photographer Marketa Ebert and her husband David enjoy traveling together and taking photos of the places they visit. They are pictured here in their living room at Riderwood, where they display some of their favorite photos on a gallery wall

When Marketa Ebert retired from her career as a clinical psychologist, her husband David bought her a camera with hopes it would inspire her to travel with him more frequently. 

David’s loving ploy worked like a charm—the couple began traveling all over the world, capturing photos of exotic cultures and breathtaking scenery. They have taken a number of trips in the United States and particularly enjoy visiting national parks. 

Over the years, they have also traveled extensively overseas, including Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Bhutan, and they recently took a month-long trip to China.

“We really like traveling to Southeast Asia. It’s very colorful and different,” Marketa says. “We like to travel to places that are very different from us.”

While snapping pictures during their travels, Marketa developed quite a knack for photography. She and David joined a camera club, and Marketa also took some workshops to develop her photography skills. She even worked for a while as a newspaper photographer, and she currently runs a freelance event photography business. 

More time for travel and leisure

In 2014, Marketa and David moved to Riderwood from Hyattsville, Md. David says they decided to move because keeping up their house took away from their travel and leisure time. 

When they met with other Riderwood residents prior to their move, many people told them that they wished they had moved sooner. That sealed the deal for David and Marketa.

“We thought, ‘We’re both healthy, and we’re tired of keeping up the house and mowing the lawn and cooking meals, and there are so many activities here that we can join in,’” David says. “Plus, here we are associating with other people who have the basic philosophy of life that we have.”

Now that they live at Riderwood, even when they’re at home, David says it almost feels like they are on vacation because there are so many people to talk to and activities to enjoy. Plus, there are full-service restaurants to have meals with friends, and other amenities like an indoor pool, fitness center, and salon.

“We call this the resort hotel,” David says. 

Marketa and David still travel frequently. They are planning a trip to Costa Rica this winter. 

They’ve found that living at Riderwood makes vacations more enjoyable. When they are out of town, residents have the peace of mind of knowing that their homes and belongings are safe because Riderwood is a gated community and is protected by around-the-clock security.

“It’s really nice; we just go out and lock the door,” David says. “We used to worry—are there going to be break-ins or damage from a storm? It’s really nice to know that things are going to be okay when you come back.”

Sharing hobbies with new friends

Living at Riderwood has also given Marketa and David a whole new group of friends with which to share their love of photography. About a year ago, they started a photography club for residents. So far, 20 resident photographers of various skill levels have gotten involved with the club. 

Marketa says each meeting begins with a sort of “show and tell” session, where members share and discuss their photos. Then, a club member or an outside photographer delivers a how-to presentation about a technical aspect of photography, such as composition, using a dark room, or how to use a new kind of camera. Meetings typically end with a photo slideshow by residents or friends of David and Marketa from their previous camera club. 

Members of the Riderwood photography club each approach the hobby differently. Some people, like David and Marketa, enjoy taking photos of their travels. Others turn their lenses toward nature, snapping pictures of flowers or birds.

“Some of the members are also artists, so they come to photography from a different perspective,” Marketa says. “Everyone is curious and interested in learning.”

David and Marketa are also members of Riderwood’s arts committee, which puts on a popular annual art show. Marketa has volunteered her services to produce headshots for each of the 37 artists being featured in this year’s show. 

In addition to the photography club, the Eberts have discovered a number of other activities they enjoy at Riderwood. Marketa, who has practiced yoga for many years, has added tai chi to her fitness regime.  

“The teacher here likes to challenge people, so it doesn’t matter what level you are at. He will challenge you,” Marketa says. “I’ve been doing yoga for 20 years, but in some ways, tai chi is harder. It’s a martial art.”

David, a retired electrical engineer, is involved with a resident-run science and technology forum. He takes square dancing classes and enjoys biking on Riderwood’s picturesque grounds. He is also an avid camper, and when Marketa is busy with work, he will explore the great outdoors with friends or take a solo journey.

“I’ve been camping all my life. When I retired, I bought a pop up camper and I use it quite a bit,” David says. “I go up to Canada and all over the United States. I have been almost everywhere, all 50 states. Sometimes I have a destination in mind, and sometimes I drive along and if I see something interesting, I stop.”