Brian Pandya found a Nikon digital camera on his Orange Line ride home to Arlington from his office in Washington. He called Metro to see if anyone had reported a missing camera. No one had.

He could have turned it in to Metro’s lost and found, but Pandya felt compelled to make sure the camera actually got to its rightful owners. “That’s sending it into a black hole,” he said. “I think there’s more entrepreneurial ways to find them.”

He asked his friend Chris Gaskill, a social media fan who runs an account that tweets inspirational quotes, to help him use Twitter to track down the family. Gaskill tweeted a picture of a photograph on the camera’s view screen — a family of four visiting the National Mall.

Less than three hours after it was posted, Gaskill’s tweet has been retweeted 341 times. Most prominently, Gaskill said, the @SCOTUSblog account, with more than 187,000 followers, shared the tweet.

Pandya believes the family lives in Weston, Fla. Many of the photos on their camera show palm trees and Florida license plates, and he spotted a gymnastics studio located in Weston in one picture.

He said he doesn’t think the family will mind having their picture shared widely, if it means their camera makes its way back to them.

“I have kids. Chris has a son, too. If you lost your camera — this camera has birthday parties, family photographs, grandparents’ visits, kids’ Little League games,” he said. “You would hate to lose this many memories.”