MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - 20 years in the making and Black Bayou has come a long way.
"If you could have seen what this place looked like 20 years ago it was just unbelievable, nothing here," says Bob Eisenstadt with Friends of Black Bayou.
Now it's a wildlife refuge known for protecting endangered species and preserving wildlife.
"It was sort of a brown field and you look at it today and it is just lush with trees and wildlife," says Eisenstadt.
Being able to see the wildlife in their natural habitat, is what makes for great pictures, just ask Mike Colvin.
"I just wander a lot, I wander the boardwalk a lot, I go to the tower, nowhere in particular," says Colvin.
For the past five years, it's a ten minute drive, five days a week to spend three or four hours seeing all types of animals.
"Well bobcats they are always nice to see, coyote, deer are quite common, the fawns are being born and I've gotten some nice pictures lately of newborn fawns," says Colvin.
Don't forget there is also lots of birds of all colors, but he says to see these sights patience is key.
"There always something new to see, and it's just relaxing to be out and away from everything else. I just enjoy the peace and the quiet," says Colvin.
But, if waiting for the right shot isn't your specialty, the area's made up of about 5,000 acres, so there's something for everyone.
"Most of it is the lake, but we offer a bunch of opportunities including hunting, fishing, outdoor education, photography the list goes on," says Maury Bedford, Wildlife Refuge Complex Manager.
The whole refuge is made possible through volunteer efforts. It's for people to use as an escape on the water, in the woods, or through a lens.
"It's Louisiana environment, it's wetlands, moss-draped cypress trees," says Eisenstadt.