You might say nature has been a life saver for artist Robyn Nola.
In her mid twenties, Nola learned she had Berger’s disease—a chronic, progressive disorder. The news was daunting for the health-conscious optimist.
Berger’s disease can be asymptomatic for years, so Nola didn’t precisely know when the debilitating protein antibodies began building up in her kidneys. And, with no family history of the disorder she and her doctor weren’t sure what caused it. After months of back pain, swelling and other issues, however, a renal biopsy led to a conclusive diagnosis. Immediately, Nola began treatment to relieve symptoms and to prevent or delay renal failure.
The months ahead were both physically and emotionally draining. So to help bolster her usually sunny outlook, Nola rekindled her love for photography. And when her husband Steve brought home a digital camera, Nola began photographing desert flowers in their yard.
“Those were the early days of digital photography,” Nola said. “And, immediately, I fell in love with the unlimited capabilities digital offered versus traditional film. I could take as many shots as I wanted and I would never run out of film! Being able to see immediate results from my shots was so satisfying. It really fed my creative side.”
Next, Nola began photographing flowers during the couple’s out-of-state trips. A summertime visit to the gardens within San Diego’s Balboa Park resulted in an photograph of a lotus flower that stunned her husband.
“Something was special about this photo, it had a magical quality. It was quite remarkable,” Steve said.
Nola said her love of nature photography seemed to take off from there. “My husband really encouraged me to share my gift with the world.”
Nola says that her love of nature photography just seemed to take off from there.
“It gives me a chance to become one with nature. It is a quiet time when I have the chance to capture beautiful, magical moments. Spending time in nature is a healing therapy for me.”
Always depicted in natural light, Nola’s vibrant, colorful photos are the result of an extremely detailed eye for capturing unusual combinations of composition and perspective. Nola’s art is captivating and distinctive. It’s no surprise that some of her growing base of devotees make stylistic comparisons with the raw brilliance of nature portrayed by American artist Georgia O’Keeffe (1887 – 1986).
As a result of Nola and Steve’s 2004 visit to Maui, Hawaii—a trip filled with adventures to secret gardens, waterfalls and awe-inspiring seascapes—there were plenty of diverse and exotic opportunities to develop her art.
“My creativity was sparked!” Nola said. “Every where you looked was a breathtaking vista or a beautiful flower just waiting to get captured into a magical moment.”
Four years later the couple returned to Hawaii; this time to the garden island of Kauai, which Nola calls “Heaven on Earth” because of its remote atmosphere and opportunities to become “one with nature.”
She realized that her photography—and the subsequent oneness with nature —had become a powerful and energizing healing therapy.
Upon returning to Arizona, Nola began transitioning her passion for the magic of nature photography into a full-time professional pursuit.
Little did she know, but there were other magical events apparently taking place at the same time.
Nearly a decade after Nola’s diagnosis, her nephrologist made an amazing discovery. Nola’s kidney function had returned to 100 percent normal. Robyn no longer needed to take medicine and could possibly live the rest of her life without ever needing a kidney transplant.
The chronic disorder, for which there is usually no cure, was gone.
Nola has absolutely no doubt about what led her back to vibrant health and wellness. “Focusing on the beauty in nature and practicing daily positive affirmations has really changed my life.” Nola said.
“I have now learned that this was a gift. I am now living my dream of capturing the beauty I see and sharing this with the world.” Nola said.
As her photography business progressed into a loving journey dedicated to capturing nature’s magic—Nola believes, “My body, including my kidneys, became balanced. Nature is filled with perfection and balance. My exposure to nature—my oneness with nature—manifested itself through a return to good health.”
Using her inherent gift to look at the familiar in a new way, Robyn Nola plans to continue her magical journey with a very personal affirmation. “Being in nature is the best medicine there is. Nature is my ultimate healer.”