LANSING – Out of approximately 2,000 photos of Michigan beaches submitted to Pure Michigan through Instagram, Twitter and michigan.org, Gina Ferwerda of Silver Lake won the Pure Michigan Beach Instagram Challenge with her beautiful photo of kayakers at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.
The kayakers in the photo are Ferwerda’s daughter, Ariana, and her friends on their last day at the beach together before high school graduation.
“As I was capturing this moment, I knew how much they would treasure this photo one day thinking back to these carefree days,” Ferwerda said. “Pure Michigan to me is the best state for spectacular seasonal activities and I was happy to showcase the beauty of my hometown and the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.”
In total, 1,933 photos were submitted during the 10-day Instagram challenge. The goal of the challenge – a joint effort between Pure Michigan, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) – was to showcase the variety of beaches in Michigan, as well as the types of activities that travelers and residents can enjoy during a day at the beach.
To view the complete gallery of photos submitted during the contest visitmichigan.org/beachchallenge. Daily challenge winners were shared on the Pure Michigan Instagram page and can also be found on the Pure Michigan blog. Daily winners were as follows:
Favorite Beach to Catch a Sunrise or Sunset – Grand Haven State Park Beach, submitted by Bob Peskorse Jr.
Favorite Dog-Friendly Beach – Empire Beach, submitted by Sarah Hunt
Favorite State Park Beach – Orchard Beach State Park, submitted by Deb Neerken
Favorite Beach to Fly a Kite – Manistique, submitted by Carrie Shea
Favorite Beach for Watersports – Stoney Creek Metropark, submitted by Rainie Mills
Favorite Beach for Fishing from the Shore or Dock – Copper Harbor, submitted by Matthew Winn
Favorite Beach to Experience Clear Waters – Lake Huron in Rogers City, submitted by Rachel Welch
Favorite Beach to Take a Long Walk – Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore, submitted by Steve Keighly
Favorite Beach to Hang Out with Family and Friends – Tiscornia Beach in St. Joseph, submitted by Jason McIver
Favorite Beach to Watch Fireworks – St. Ignace, submitted by Shawn Kellogg
Each of the daily challenge winners received a Personal Sun Care Kit from the Pure Michigan Store. As the grand prize winner, Ferwerda received an “Ultimate Pure Michigan Beach Day” package that includes a beach towel, a fire pit, a tackle box, a cooler and a sun care kit among other prizes.
Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.
Ferwerda, a photographer and designer, owns Wet Head Beach Shop, Wave Club Water Sport Rentals and Silver Creek RV Resort in Silver Lake with her husband Ted. She started her own clothing line, Wet Head, and opened the beach shop in 2012.