Asheville Reflections: Jessica Merithew

Introducing Threads Reflections, a campaign to bring inspiration and a little ‘breathing room’ into the feed. We’ve reached out to some of the incredibly talented visual storytellers in Asheville and asked them to share their visual and verbal perspective. Take a moment and look back with us at these magical moments taken against the backdrop of mountain panoramas, cascading waterfalls, and the unbridled nature that surrounds this region. This is Asheville Reflections.

In our third installment, we explore the story of Jessica Merithew of Jessica Merithew Photography. Jessica was first introduced to the world of photography while attending Clemson University where she worked as a photographer for Nantahala Outdoor Center on the Chattooga River. She fell in love with manual mode photography right then and there as their guests came splashing through rapids like Corkscrew and Bull Sluice. 

Follow along with us as we explore Jessica's connection to Asheville and her recommendations for making the most out of your experience:

What was your first Asheville experience?

I drove through the area many times before I made a point to spend a few days here. When I finally did stop and spend a few days, I fell in love! The charming downtown streets, the quick access to hiking and mountain biking, and the open green spaces really spoke to me and pulled me in. I LOVE the endless opportunities for outdoor fun, and I LOVE the diversity and eclectic vibe here. It feeds my soul like no place I have ever lived! 10+ years after moving here, I still feel just as strongly about it. 



What do you remember most from your time spent in Asheville?
I only visited Asheville twice before I moved here over 10 years ago. I still remember the easy breezy feeling of downtown, the excitement of endless hiking trails, and the great smelling forests.

What do you most enjoy about photographing Asheville and the surrounding area?
The endless possibilities. Just when I think after 10 years of being a photographer here, that I have seen most of the amazing places in the area, a new client will invite me to their home or property, and I am blown away by another amazingly beautiful photography location. Plus, there are so many untouched and beautiful nooks and crannies in these mountains, we just have to look.

What do you wish first time visitors would take away from the Asheville experience?
That there is so much more than downtown, breweries, and Biltmore. The real Asheville experience is at our neighborhood restaurants, on a hiking trail that is an hour drive away, and in the saddles of these mountains that are full of life, not at the summits.
What do you think is Asheville’s best kept secret?
Montford neighborhood and downtown in the early morning. There are few things better than waking up early, strapping on your running shoes, and jogging or walking through our beautiful downtown area and Montford neighborhood. Streets are empty, storefronts are quiet, and typically there are only a few locals out walking their dogs. Being able to see this typically busy place from a different angle is amazing. Take in the architecture of downtown's buildings and Montford's historic homes, walk through Pack Square or sit on a bench for a while, stop in and grab coffee or tea at a just opened coffee shop. It's a whole experience that very few people have, and I love sharing it with those who visit me.
Stay up-to-date on Jessica's journey as she takes us into her world: