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Steamboat Magazine

More Than Beautiful Images

07/23/2018 04:52PM ● By Alesha Damerville

Image by Sidney Peterson

By Sidney Peterson

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS- The photographs hung on the walls of Bésame, a Latin-American influenced restaurant in downtown Steamboat, aren’t just beautiful travel images – they are stories. 

Catherine Zdeblick is a photographer, but she doubles as a storyteller; she takes time to describe the moment she has captured on the back of each photograph.

Zdeblick’s love of photography began at just nine years old, posing and snapping shots of her younger brother on her Polaroid camera. Yet, Zdeblick’s life of traveling and full-time professional photography began only four years ago. A trip to Africa with a friend re-sparked her interest, and with four kids gone from the nest, she was able to dedicate her time to two passions: photography and traveling. 

“About three and a half years ago, I went on steroids with photography,” Zdeblick says. “I do workshops in Santa Fe, and I have a mentor who comes to my house once a week that helps mostly with the tech-stuff. It takes a lot of time.”

Zdeblick is based out of Madison, Wisconsin and Steamboat Springs. However, she travels at least three months of out the year. Since 2015, the majority of her time has been spent exploring, learning about and capturing Cuba with other photographers.

With the exception of only a few images, most of the photographs in Bésame were taken in Cuba. She is drawn to the small Caribbean island by the warmth of its locals and its fascinating history. 

For most Americans, Cuba may still be seen as a mysterious country, one that was opened for travel by President Obama just three years ago. But Zdeblick draws inspiration from the island.

“You drink the Kool-Aid and then you don’t leave,” Zdeblick explains. “I have been going to Cuba three times a year since 2015, and I have two more trips planned. I think it is the people; they are very warm and approachable. What they lack in material things, they make up for in colors and in the arts.”

The subjects of her photographs range from lively street-performers and elegant national ballet dancers to a local Cuban woman preparing coffee in her home. Whomever the person may be, Zdeblick strives to capture them in their everyday life, without altering any details. She documents through her art and understands the importance of depicting the truth in photography. 

The photographs at Bésame will remain framed on the wall for an extended period of time, but  Zdeblick will not be settling down anytime soon. In the next year, she plans to return to Cuba, and experience India and Mongolia for the first time. 


For more on Bésame visit