It’s a Wrap!

At the end of the day, Southern Maryland sunsets provide a glorious grand finale
Writer: Conni Leigh James

In this, the final edition of Southern Maryland-This is Living magazine, we would like to celebrate the spectacular beauty of our area with some photographs of the best places to enjoy the setting sun at the close of the day. We’ve asked a few friends of the magazine through the years (current and former staff, photographers, writers, advertisers and random friends and readers) to share their favorite sunset spots as a final farewell gift of beauty to our community. Thank you, Southern Maryland, for supporting us for 24 years…

My favorite place to watch the sunset in Southern Maryland is right from my back porch on the beautiful Patuxent River just south of Solomons Island. This sunset was especially stunning with all of the vivid colors lighting up the sky that evening. No sunset is ever the same here! It is so hard to believe that this will be the last issue of Southern Maryland-This is Living magazine. I will never forget when Vickie said to me all those years ago that she was going to start a magazine just all about living in Southern Maryland, and I thought that was a great idea, of course. When I saw that first issue and how professional and beautiful it was with so many interesting articles about people and places in our own hometown, it was so exciting to see how her ideas and vision had come to life. Every magazine since the first has been just as impressive, informative and beautiful. We will miss it so much!
–Jackie Martin, sister of Vickie. When the magazine first started, I helped get all of the subscriptions entered into the database until I started my own business, Jacqueline Morgan Day Spa. At that point I became an advertiser!
Moonrises, moonsets, sunrises and indeed sunsets are nothing less than spectacular from the purview of The Ruddy Duck Seafood and Alehouse that straddles the Potomac River on one side and St. George Creek the other. When Vickie and Barbara first visited us to share the vision of their new Southern Maryland-This is Living magazine, we were immediately taken with the enthusiasm and professionalism of the pair and signed on as advertisers. Not only has Vickie done an amazing job with fresh material, but she’s been a godsend for so many businesses. I read the magazine immediately upon receipt of every edition. Thank you, Vickie, for sharing a slice of the heaven we call home for all these years.
–Michael Kelley, owner of Ruddy Duck Brewery and Grill, Ruddy Duck Seafood and Ale House, Canard’s Catering and Event Production, longtime SMTIL advertiser
I am very lucky to live and own two restaurants on Solomons Island. The sunsets from there are spectacular as the sun drops out of the sky behind the Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge, giving off an array of gorgeous red and purple hues reflecting off the evening clouds. It is the perfect way to end the day. Our love goes out to everyone on the Southern Maryland-This Is Living staff that has worked so hard to provide Southern Maryland with all the wonderful stories, photos and information of our area. The magazine will be truly missed!
–Jim Zirakian, owner of Charles Street Brasserie, longtime SMTIL advertiser, menu contributor
When I decided to find my perfect “sunset home” location, my wife Anne and I settled on the Banks of Breton Beach overlooking Breton Bay. Our blue chairs get used quite often to enjoy every evening’s sunset view. Thank you, Vickie, for so many years of enjoying your magazine.
–Wayne Davis, owner of WM Davis Construction, longtime SMTIL advertiser [Note: Davis has advertised in every issue of SMTIL!]
When it comes to chasing sunsets, I love the out-of-the-way spots that may not be on everyone’s list, preferably those with a water view and maybe a few lacy trees in the foreground for framing. One of my current favorites is along the Patuxent River in Lower Marlboro. There’s a good chance to capture the silhouette of a passing boat or swooping shore bird. Another secret spot is Wicomico Park, where the foreground changes with the seasons and the ebb and flow of the tides. I’ll truly miss the magazine. I’ve been a fan since the very first issue! Thank you, Vickie and staff, for such a wonderful product.
–Conni Leigh James, SMTIL contributing writer
One evening, we discovered that if you take a photograph of the sunset from our store, Maertens Fine Jewelry in Solomons, there is a cool illusion that the store is actually filled with clouds. We will certainly miss this beautiful magazine. We look forward to each release, especially the holiday edition. Some of my favorite recipes have come from Southern Maryland-This is Living. Vickie is one of the most beautiful, genuine and talented people that I know. I’m sure that what she does from here will be just as fun and exciting, and we wish her all the best!
–Heather Maertens, Kim Harkins and the Maertens Fine Jewelry Team, longtime SMTIL advertiser
My favorite sunset view is through the branches of a certain sycamore tree near the Patuxent River in Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum. As a photographer onboard from the magazine’s beginnings (often as Ed Mann), I have been privileged to know so many folks in so many diverse branches of Southern Maryland life. I treasure those meetings and hope to meet again.
–August Selckmann, SMTIL photographer
My family lives in Newburg, right by the Middleton/Nice bridge. We like to kayak on the Potomac River near Newburg every chance we get, and the area is just fabulous for sunset views. Right now, there’s a lot going on in that spot as workers complete the expanded bridge. There are cranes, barges and tons of equipment everywhere, but I know it’s going to be a beautiful sunset spot again soon.
–Carrie Lovejoy, SMTIL contributing writer
As a photographer, I generally go to places that help me feel the most at peace and that offer many photographic opportunities all in one area. Asbury, in southern Calvert County, is one of those places. The welcoming residents, various types of wildlife and the amazing view of the Patuxent River at sunset are what makes Asbury one of my top locations. Recently, as the sun passed under the horizon, we noticed a blue heron landing in an osprey’s nest in perfect position with the sunset. It’s just one of those wildlife shots that you’re not able to get every day!
–Brian Haislip, Brian Haislip Photography, longtime SMTIL reader
I have always liked watching the sun set over the water, where the light and colors are reflected and amplified. One of the best spots is the Potomac River at Popes Creek. It brings back memories of sunset dinners at a crab house, with the smell of Old Bay and vinegar.
–Valerie Nyce, professional photographer, longtime SMTIL reader
I’m so sorry to say goodbye to this wonderful high-quality magazine, which has been enjoyed by so many of my clients and by me! As I watch the sunsets on Broomes Island, I’ll be thinking about the magazine and the impact it has had in our beautiful area.
–Gail Siegel, Realtor, O’Brien Realty, longtime SMTIL advertiser
One of my favorite spots for “skygazing” is Cornfield Harbor in Scotland. My family has been gathering there for the past several years. Many afternoons have been spent sitting on the beach looking across to Virginia and down the river toward Point Lookout, where the Potomac meets the Chesapeake Bay. You can’t beat that view! Or maybe you can … Because come sunset time, we adjust our chairs so we are facing west, and then we wait for the show. Each sunset is always different. And it seems the one you are currently watching is always the best one ever, whether it’s in January or July. It’s been a pleasure to work at the magazine and showcase the beauty — and the best — of Southern Maryland.
–Angela Breck, SMTIL contributing writer and editor
I would nominate Bushwood Wharf as a great sunset spot. It is situated at the mouth of the Wicomico River as it meets the Potomac. The little restaurant there was voted by the Washingtonian as having the best crab cakes in Maryland, and there is a great fishing pier. The scene is beautiful; as you go up the Wicomico, you hit Cobb Island. If you head directly west into the sunset, you land at Colonial Beach. Head south and go to St. Clement’s Island.
–Mary Ida Rolape, professional artist, longtime SMTIL reader
I’m lucky enough to live about a five-minute drive from one of the best sunset locations in Charles County — St. Ignatius Church on Chapel Point Road. There have been numerous times on my way home that I’ve made a quick detour to catch the sunset, and quite a few breathtaking photos, at that spot.
–Michelle Brosco Christian, SMTIL contributing writer and former editor
Breton Bay has the most extraordinary sunsets every night. We are blessed to relax in our backyard lawn chairs and watch the artistry from above. No two sunsets are ever alike.
–Susan McCauley, longtime SMTIL reader
In between the crops and aged wooden barns, the golden sunset skies of Southern Maryland farms are surely my favorite! Luckily enough, I’m able to enjoy golden hour daily living on a Leonardtown farm. No matter what time of year, the beauty still shines.
–Felicia Mumbert, SMTIL advertising assistant
My favorite spot is at the home of friends on Medley’s Neck, overlooking Breton Bay. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to watch some incredible sunsets there. All the best to Vickie and the entire magazine staff. I was an advertiser for many years and will surely miss the quarterly adventure the magazine provided all of Southern Maryland.
–Lucy Barbour, Realtor, Century 21/New Millennium, longtime advertiser
As a young girl, I would often visit my grandparents in Benedict, by the Patuxent River. As nightfall came, I would look to the sky to tell me when it was time to head home. No matter the time of year, I would see a magnificent sky lit up with hues of pinks, blues and purples, and I would pedal like the wind to be home before dark. Many years later, I returned to live and raise my own children there, under that same beautiful sky. As the magazine enters this sunset phase of its publication, I want to thank Vickie, Barb and all of those who wrote for them for presenting us with the beauty of this very special region. I have been so privileged to write stories of so many who live here. Each one has a special place in my heart, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to edit and write for the magazine.
–Tina Wagner, SMTIL contributing writer and former editor
My favorite sunset spot since Jan. 17, 1996, has been the front steps of Carmen’s Gallery on Solomons Island. On that day, I settled on my gallery property, and the sun sat directly in front of my sidewalk over the tree on the Riverwalk. Every day of the year, I love watching the spectacular sunset inch a bit more toward the bridge. Always different but endlessly captivating.
–Carmen Lee Nance Gambrill, owner of Carmen’s Gallery and longtime SMTIL advertiser
My favorite spot to watch the sunset is St. Mary’s City. I have wonderful memories of sunsets at two very different times of year. In the heady midsummer, the sun setting over the St. Mary’s River to the sounds of the Chesapeake Orchestra and the sight of children chasing fireflies – that’s an indelible experience. On Christmas Eve, the quiet sunset behind historic Trinity Church is full of peace and promise.
–Caroline Miller King, former SMTIL editor
My favorite place to see the sun set is Solomons Island with the bridge silhouetted as the sun turns orange and reflects shades of red, purple and orange in the sky.
–Carol Harvat, SMTIL contributing writer
I love to watch the sunset from our home in Breton Bay. The magazine helped me integrate into the Southern Maryland community when we bought our home here 15 years ago. The magazine provided me with endless ideas on places to visit, explore, eat, exercise and just unwind. It is a tribute to Vickie Milburn and her team of writers, photographers, editors, advertisers and staff that such a high-quality magazine was produced for our region for more than 20 years.
–Birdie Shannon, former SMTIL subscription coordinator
My husband and I like to take slow, relaxing boat rides from Town Creek to the Patuxent River. There are so many beautiful sunset spots along the way. God’s handiwork and color schemes are just breathtaking! I want to thank Vickie Kite Milburn and the magazine team for years of excellence. I have always enjoyed the spotlights on various businesses. I treasure the recipes for the yummy treats that I have always loved trying to duplicate. I wish you all the very best on your new season of life and thank you for enriching so many lives by displaying the richness in Southern Maryland.
–Barbara Blades, Realtor, Century 21/New Millennium, longtime SMTIL advertiser
My favorite place to enjoy sunsets is our home in Piney Point. This quote by Mehmet Murat ildan sums it up: “Sunset is the opening music of the night.” I wish you [SMTIL staff] all the best in your future plans. We surely will miss the magazine.
–Donna Harrigan, longtime SMTIL advertiser
After a long day at work, while driving home in November, when the sun sets early, the timing is perfect to witness the most beautiful sunsets at Hallowing Point in Calvert County. Just sitting at the park watching God’s handiwork is a real treat. For the past 23 years, the SMTIL staff have done an amazing job of sharing the best of Southern Maryland and what she has to offer! So many good memories made working with Vickie and Barbara from the first issue in 1999. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journey. You will be missed!
–Colleen Morrill, former SMTIL sales rep
The best places to see a sunset in Southern Maryland are either from across a farm field or on the water. I recently took a photo on the Potomac River, a beautiful moment of fishermen heading home before dark during the rockfish season in fall. I’d like to thank Vickie for giving my passions a voice, especially sharing the histories of Southern Maryland houses and the people who’ve loved and lived in them. This magazine has been an extraordinary gift to the community…!
–Beth Bonifant, SMTIL home and garden writer
My favorite place to watch the sunset is the waterfront at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. That area, along with Historic St. Mary’s City, is the site of so many beginnings and endings. Here’s to the history and culture that Southern Maryland-This is Living has helped to preserve within its pages, and to whatever lies in the future for Vickie. It’s been a pleasure to work with you!
–Crystal Oliver, SMTIL contributing writer
My favorite spot to watch the sun set in Southern Maryland is from the boardwalk on Solomons Island. After a nice dinner in Solomons, it is such a treat to see a beautiful sunset over the water and watch the sun as it descends upon the bridge. It is like a beautiful painting has come to life.
–Andra Perdomo, SMTIL creative director
Southern Maryland sunsets are simply stunning. I have had a favorite spot to witness these beautiful nightfalls since 1970… right from my parents’ pier on St. John’s Creek in Calvert County. A few years back, my husband Pat and I purchased the house next door and love heading down to the dock in the late evenings with a glass of wine or a fishing pole… or both. Such a peaceful way to end the day. For about 17 years, many of my days were spent with my partner in the magazine, Vickie Milburn, brainstorming ideas for an upcoming issue, reveling in the interesting stories our gifted writers submitted, poring over pictures from our talented photographers, enjoying fabulous food from the many wonderful restaurants we reviewed, delivering magazines to our generous advertisers, and discovering so many hidden gems around Southern Maryland. I will forever be grateful for that day in 1998 when Vickie asked me, “Hey, do you want to start a magazine with me?” I will always treasure our time together! And thank you to all of our readers who supported the magazine over the years. You are a blessing.
–Barbara Dove Whalen, SMTIL partner and co-founder and creative director.