My Modern Midwest: Minnesota, The Land of Sky-Blue Water

Rita Farmer is a proud native of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She lives in the Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis, near the banks of the Mississippi River, with her husband, 3-year-old son, baby daughter and an ornery Boston Terrier.

As a stay-at-home-mom, Rita uses her Instagram account as a platform for exploring her creative side, connecting with other artistic people in the Twin Cities and building community around a common love of photography.

One of the things she loves most about Minneapolis—and Minnesota in general—is the area’s appreciation for its lakes and rivers. For My Modern Midwest, Rita captured some of these natural beauties, both in the city and throughout the state.


Lake Calhoun is one of Minneapolis’s most popular lakes, situated right in the heart of the city. It is a popular spot year-round for jogging and biking, but it comes alive in the summer, when people frequent its beaches, playgrounds, parks, and, of course, waters.


Who needs an ocean when you have Lake Superior? The mother of all freshwater lakes, her shores are beautiful all year round. This shot was taken from the top of Shovel Point, looking out at Palisade Head in the far distance. This spectacular stretch of land is all part of Tettegouche State Park.


For many of us in the Twin Cities who make the trek “up north” to Lake Superior, there is nothing quite like driving over the hill into Duluth and catching that first fabulous glimpse of the big lake.


Tettegouche State Park is also home to several smaller lakes, including this isolated beauty, Mic Mac Lake. The refreshing waters are well worth the hilly hike through the woods.


Another popular summertime destination is the Brainerd Lakes area, where people boat, fish, waterski, kayak, and swim. This is sunset on Gull Lake near Nisswa, MN.


The Mississippi River separates Minneapolis and St. Paul and plays an integral role in the geography, economy and culture of the area. In the past decade or so, Minneapolis has seen a boom in development along the riverfront. Among its photogenic attributes are the many bridges that span its shores. Pictured here is the 3rd Avenue Bridge connecting Northeast Minneapolis and Downtown.


Lake Minnetonka is another popular boating destination; a huge lake just a half-hour west of the center of the cities.


The Lowry Bridge is one of the newest—and most photogenic—bridges on the Mississippi.


Sunrise along the St. Croix River (bordering Minnesota and Wisconsin) is a sight to behold. This shot was taken at Afton State Park.