2023 SATW Bill Muster Photo Awards Announced

Ferris Wheel at Sunset - Blaine Harrington III, 2023 SATW Photographer of the Year
Ferris Wheel at Sunset – Blaine Harrington III, photographer

Named for the late Bill Muster, a renowned photographer and SATW (Society of American Travel Writers) member, the SATW Bill Muster Photo Awards recognize excellence in travel photography featuring nature, people, and cultures.

After serving in WWII, Bill Muster graduated from the University of Illinois and devoted his life to capturing images for newspapers and media companies. He was a venerated member of the SATW  community. Since 1981, SATW has presented the Muster Awards and cash prizes for travel photography in a range of categories. After Bill Muster died in 1989, his children Nori and Bill Jr., generously continued their father’s legacy with an annual gift that funds the cash prizes awarded.

“Photographers tell stories with their cameras,” said SATW President Elizabeth Harryman Lasley, “and travel photographers use arresting images to reveal insights into the world’s landscapes, cultures, and people. The SATW Bill Muster Photo Awards honor some of North America’s best practitioners of this visual storytelling. We’re so grateful for the Muster family’s support of this award, one of the most  prestigious in travel journalism.” 

The awards are presented annually at SATW’s annual convention The images must have been taken between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2022, and entrants must be SATW members.

The following awards were announced at the 2022 SATW Convention in Bogota, Colombia.

2023 Photographer of the Year

Gold: Blaine Harrington III 

Silver: Eric Lindberg

Bronze: David Stock Jr.

Single Subject

Gold: Robert Holmes

Silver: Art Meripol

Bronze: Sherry Spitsnaugle

Action Adventure

Gold: Greg Vaughn

Silver: Donnie Sexton

Bronze: Kerrick James

Merit Award: Karilyn Owen


Gold: Laura Watilo Blake

Silver: Robin Karpan

Bronze: Steve Rosenberg

Merit Award: David Swanson


Gold: Laura Watilo Blake

Silver: Karin Pezo

Bronze: Greg Vaughn

Natural Scenic

Gold: Mark Downey

Silver: Carol Waller

Bronze: Carol Waller

Merit Award: Laura Watilo Blake

People (General)

Gold: Kerrick James

Silver: Karilyn Owen

Bronze: Lina Stock

People Portrait

Gold: Donnie Sexton

Silver: Robert Holmes

Bronze: Karin Pezo