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What started as a way to document his daughter's biggest sports moments turned into a lifelong passion for photography for former DEC bill collector Eric Gooch.

   If a picture is worth a thousand words, Co-op bill collector Eric Gooch could publish volumes of stories about his time as an amateur photographer. For a decade, his photos of Delaware wildlife have graced the pages of this magazine, inspiring readers and leaving them with a sense of awe and wonder. His unique ability to capture an eagle or fox in the perfect pose, in one spectacular frame, is even more extraordinary because he has no formal training as a photographer. 

   “I started by taking pictures of my daughter’s field hockey games because kids are only small once,” he says. 

   What started out as a hobby capturing the precious moments of childhood, has evolved into a true passion for Gooch. He’s swapped snapping photos of field hockey games for fields of migrating waterfowl. Gooch’s Canon camera is always nearby — he never knows when a photo opportunity will present itself. 

   According to Gooch, "Wildlife is just like sports. In football, you only get that one hot second to take a photo. For wildlife, an eagle may only open its wings one time and you’ve got to be ready.” 

   Gooch credits good fortune and help from the man upstairs for allowing him to take stunning photos. There’s no denying his raw talent for photography: Gooch’s photographs have become so popular, they are now on display and available for purchase at the Brush Factory in Lewes. 

   As Gooch prepares to retire from DEC after 34 years of service, he’s looking forward to having more time to perfect his craft. He says he loves photography because of the way it can impact the viewer.

   “If I can make someone feel something or make someone smile, capture a moment that makes someone emotional, I’ve done my job.” 

   Aside from plans to mentor children in retirement, Gooch says on most days you’ll find him behind the camera looking for his next great shot. The staff of Delaware Living magazine thanks Gooch for his many contributions and wishes him a happy and healthy retirement. 

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