MANDEVILLE, La. (WGNO) — Photographer Abby Sands began planning her trip to Morocco months ago. Then less than a week before she was scheduled to leave, an earthquake devastated the country. Around 3,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands more affected.
Sands planned to lead a group of 18 photographers across Morocco. Even with the emergency situation now in the country, she and her crew opted to keep their plans in place. WGNO spoke with her the day before she left.
“We’re going to be in Marrakesh the last few days,” Sands told WGNO News. Marrakesh is one of the most devastated areas of Morocco. Sands says she’s hired a guide who can help them navigate around the emergency response, but she’s not against dropping her camera and picking up tools.
“If we can help, we’ve got boots on the ground, we’re there to help,” she said. “I’ll get my hands dirty and help out however I can.”
For Sands, the Morocco trip is just her latest adventure. She’s truly seen the world. Just last month, she visited Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Montenegro and Turkey. When she can’t find a ride between stops, she’ll walk or even jump on the back of a local’s motorcycle to snag a lift.
Sands is accustomed to her adventures coming with challenges or a little adversity. But she also returns home with some breathtaking photos to show at the Mandeville Artists Guild or on her website and social media accounts, and that’s what attracts other photographers to go along for the ride. She expects even more people to reach out when she returns from Morocco in a little more than two weeks from today.
“Contact me, because I’m thinking Bali in January of ’25 is going to be my next big one,” Sands said with an ambitious smile.