The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Picture-perfect scenes from Monday’s storm in Washington

The storm brought the first major snow — and opportunity for snow photography — to the region in years

A view of the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial soon after the snow ended early Monday afternoon. Sunlight filtered through the clouds and briefly glowed yellow on the surface of the water. This photo was taken at 12:55 p.m. (Kevin Ambrose for The Washington Post)
Placeholder while article actions load

Wet, sticky snow fell heavily Monday morning, coating the trees and ground, creating winter wonderland scenes in the Washington area. I hiked around Rosslyn, the National Mall and the Tidal Basin shooting snow scenes of the kind that had been missing for three years.

The photo shoot was particularly challenging because of the strong wind and the heavy, wet snow. My umbrella was destroyed by a strong gust near the Washington Monument, and, for much of my shoot, I was coated with snow like the surrounding trees. Keeping my camera’s lens dry was almost impossible, and many of the photos were taken through a film of water.

Here’s what made Monday’s snowstorm so severe

My favorite moment of the shoot was when the snow abruptly stopped, and the sun appeared through the clouds, creating a pale-yellow glow in the sky that reflected on the water of the Tidal Basin. I was fortunate to be at the Tidal Basin to capture the scene because it lasted only a few moments before clouds filled in and the sky turned gray again.

I was outside photographing the snowstorm for more than four hours and probably hiked at least five miles. As I walked through the eight-inch snow across the National Mall and the Tidal Basin, snow fell into my short boots and penetrated my socks. By the time I finished, I was soaking wet from head to toe.

But I planned. My car was parked in a garage in Rosslyn, and I packed an extra set of clothes. I changed into dry clothes for the drive home to Oakton, Va. It was a challenging drive, with Interstate 66 reduced to one lane for much of the trip inside the Beltway.

Traffic still blocked on snowy I-95 in Virginia after drivers were stranded overnight

I took hundreds of photos during the shoot, which show sledding, cross-country skiing and dogs chasing balls in the snow, but I chose postcard views for this entry taken by me and other local photographers who also braved the snow.

It was the perfect snowstorm to photograph. I hope we get a few more this winter.

Photos from readers