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WINGSPAN

The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas

WINGSPAN

The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas

WINGSPAN

What scares some, thrills others

Rather than seeking shelter, local storm chasers hit the road

Many spring days in Tornado Alley and DFW can bring the possibility of severe weather and that’s the case Monday. But for a couple of local residents, it signals a far greater adventure. Storm chasing can have many definitions. Some people chase to research and learn more about the weather.

But for Mike Mezeul, it’s the chance to document the beauty of the storm.

I found myself more fascinated with storms than, say, sunsets or anything like that. And I just kind of found my way into following the storms and learning more about them and eventually chasing them,

— storm chaser Mike Mezeul

“What got me into storm chasing was I was always that little kid that was obsessed with the sky I was always fascinated by how there’s this whole world above our heads, right, that we don’t see or we just often kind of like not to look at,” Mezeul said. “And when I got older and I was able to actually start driving, ironically, I got my camera at the same time. So I said, hey, let me go out, start taking pictures of the sky. And I found myself more fascinated with storms than, say, sunsets or anything like that. And I just kind of found my way into following the storms and learning more about them and eventually chasing them.”

For Erika Ellis Owens, the excitement comes from the anticipation of waiting.

“If you’ve never been storm chasing before, just imagine being in a car and sitting in that car and driving everywhere for hours and hours,” Owens said. “So it’s more of a hurry up and sit in the car and. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Just for that five, ten minute rush of these huge storm cells coming in where you can actually photograph them and chase them all day long.”

Nature can never be fully predicted, and because of that Mezeul was quickly hooked to storm-chasing.

“The push to fully commit to photography and storm chasing came when I realized that every storm is different, right?” Mezeul said. “Every scene is different and it’s addicting. You never know what nature is going to provide or what nature is going to show you. So to get out there and have no idea what kind of storm you’re going to see or what kind of sky you’re going to see, or, you know, what the day holds that’s addicting.”

While many people see an approaching storm as something to avoid, it’s a chance to make art for Ellis Owens.

Being able to capture the beauty of a storm and then showing people that the storm can be beautiful, even though it’s terrifying sometimes depending upon how bad that storm can get,

— storm chaser Erika Ellis Owens

“It’s capturing something that somebody else can’t see and sharing it with them,” Ellis Owens said. “So being able to capture the beauty of a storm and then showing people that the storm can be beautiful, even though it’s terrifying sometimes depending upon how bad that storm can get.”

While photography can be a tough career, the chance to document history makes it worth pursuing for these storm chasers.

“Whether you’re looking to pursue photography as a career or just as a hobby, I encourage everybody to pick up a camera at some point in their lives and look through it because it opens up your eyes, it opens up your mind, and you see the world a bit differently through a camera,” Mezeul said.

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About the Contributor
Karina Grokhovskaya
Karina Grokhovskaya, Executive Producer
Karina Grokhovskaya is a Senior in her fourth year in broadcast and second year as executive producer for the WTV daily update. She is also in her second year on the debate team. In her free time, she loves to ice skate, read, and hang out with her friends. She is excited for her senior year and all that is to come this school year. Contact Karina: Karina.Grokhovskaya.807@k12.friscoisd.org

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