Photographer Captures Storm Cloud That Looks Like a Fiery Explosion in the Sky

Texas Storm Clouds by Laura Rowe

Amateur photographer Laura Rowe was simply out on a Sunday drive around East Texas with her boyfriend when she happened upon a spectacular scene. What started out as a normal day transformed into something much bigger when Rowe photographed an electrifying image of storm clouds appearing ready to explode thanks to reflected light from the sunset.

Rowe, who is also a college basketball player, said that she and her boyfriend had just left the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge when they noticed a tornado touch down in the distance. They decided to chase the storm and get a closer look. “I had no idea how beautiful it was going to be up close,” Rowe tells My Modern Met. “We drove down dirt roads, stopping every once in a while to take some pictures. The place that I took that picture was actually our last stop. I thought we were too close, but the storm was moving the other way so we stayed where we were at. My phone was about to die, so I took a couple more pictures as the sun was going down and we started to head home since it was getting dark anyway. I had no idea at the time that photo I took was going to go viral.”

Looking at the photo, it's easy to see why it went viral. It's hard to believe, but the photo was captured on a smartphone—an iPhone 11 using its wide-angle lens. The clouds are already impressive, but the mystical glow that appears to come from within is what really makes it a one-of-a-kind image. Since sharing her work, Rowe has been happily surprised by the reception.

“The response that I have had to this photo is so incredible,” she admits. “I have had people from all over the world send me messages about how the photo has inspired them or what it means to them. It makes me feel so blessed. I truly feel like God put me in the right place at the right time.”

At the same time, it's been a learning experience for Rowe, who is working to get a handle on the ins and outs of copyright. “I hope to learn more about photography and artists' rights since mine have been taken advantage of so often through this experience,” she shares. Still, the positives far outweigh any negative aspects. “At the end of the day, all of the nice messages and the people that are supporting me make it worth it. Like I said before, I truly do feel like this is a blessing.”

If you are interested in supporting Rowe's photography, she is selling prints of the Texas storm cloud photo on her website.

Amateur photographer Laura Rowe's Texas storm photo went viral on Twitter.

Check out this incredible footage she shot with her iPhone.

Laura Rowe: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photo by Laura Rowe.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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