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Travel around the country through NPR photos in 2023

LAHAINA, MAUI: This is the aftermath of wildfire from Aug. 8 that killed at least 98 people while displacing thousands more and destroying over 2,000 buildings in the historic town, most of which were homes. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/08/18/1194505306/3-strategies-maui-can-adopt-from-other-states-to-help-prevent-dangerous-wildfire">See the story.</a>
Deanne Fitzmaurice for NPR
LAHAINA, MAUI: This is the aftermath of wildfire from Aug. 8 that killed at least 98 people while displacing thousands more and destroying over 2,000 buildings in the historic town, most of which were homes. See the story.

Updated December 30, 2023 at 11:51 PM ET

In 2023, NPR staff and freelance visual journalists travelled across the country to cover everything from the wildfires in Maui that devastated Lahaina and climate change effects to asylum-seekers and a forgotten opera.

We take a look at what we saw in 2023.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LAHAINA, MAUI: Luz Vargas, 45, lost her son Keyiro Fuentes in the fire in Lahaina, Maui, on Aug. 8. He was found in the remnants of their burned home. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/08/18/1194547885/maui-fires-mother-raced-save-son-lahaina">See the story.</a>
/ Deanne Fitzmaurice for NPR
/
Deanne Fitzmaurice for NPR
LAHAINA, MAUI: Luz Vargas, 45, lost her son Keyiro Fuentes in the fire in Lahaina, Maui, on Aug. 8. He was found in the remnants of their burned home. See the story.
NEW YORK CITY: (Left) Daríana Perdigón, originally from Venezuela, and her newborn Dariangelys and (Right) Magdala Ciceron with her child Amaya, pose for portraits in the maternity care unit at the Roosevelt Hotel's medical clinic. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/10/10/1204273159/migrant-mothers-new-york-bellevue-womens-health-pregnancy">See the story.</a>
/ Lexi Parra for NPR
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Lexi Parra for NPR
NEW YORK CITY: (Left) Daríana Perdigón, originally from Venezuela, and her newborn Dariangelys and (Right) Magdala Ciceron with her child Amaya, pose for portraits in the maternity care unit at the Roosevelt Hotel's medical clinic. See the story.
NEW YORK CITY: As asylum seekers spill out onto Hall Street outside of the Clinton Hill Shelter, clothing hangs to dry after being washed inside the facility's two shower units on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/07/29/1190056156/as-nyc-limits-access-to-migrants-and-asylum-seekers-many-are-left-homeless">See the story</a>.
/ José A. Alvarado Jr. for NPR
/
José A. Alvarado Jr. for NPR
NEW YORK CITY: As asylum seekers spill out onto Hall Street outside of the Clinton Hill Shelter, clothing hangs to dry after being washed inside the facility's two shower units on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. See the story.
ATLANTA: After a long-running asylum case kept Anabel apart from her family in El Salvador for 8 years, she finally reunited with them at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport earlier this month. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/03/20/1164311772/her-case-ended-in-a-joyful-airport-reunion-but-the-future-of-asylum-is-uncertain">See the story.</a>
/ Melissa Golden for NPR
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Melissa Golden for NPR
ATLANTA: After a long-running asylum case kept Anabel apart from her family in El Salvador for 8 years, she finally reunited with them at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport earlier this month. See the story.
YUMA, Ariz.: Jacqueline Arellano hikes through a wash she suspects migrants move though on their way north after crossing the border. She volunteers with a group that is extending its services to desert areas to assist lost or hurt migrants. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/05/03/1169010633/desperate-migrants-are-choosing-to-cross-the-border-through-dangerous-u-s-desert">See the story.</a>
/ Ash Ponders for NPR
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Ash Ponders for NPR
YUMA, Ariz.: Jacqueline Arellano hikes through a wash she suspects migrants move though on their way north after crossing the border. She volunteers with a group that is extending its services to desert areas to assist lost or hurt migrants. See the story.
ALEXANDRIA, VA,: Shafi Amani holds his 3-year-old daughter Yousra outside the Casey Clinic in Alexandria, Va., where they go every couple of weeks for care. Amani and his family fled Afghanistan. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/08/09/1191261511/how-one-afghan-family-made-the-perilous-journey-across-the-u-s-mexico-border">See the story</a>.
Catie Dull / NPR
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NPR
ALEXANDRIA, VA,: Shafi Amani holds his 3-year-old daughter Yousra outside the Casey Clinic in Alexandria, Va., where they go every couple of weeks for care. Amani and his family fled Afghanistan. See the story.
NEW YORK CITY: Asylum-seekers who arrived in New York City under the expressway that has provided them shelter. Others had no choice but to join a homeless camp of nearly 20 men. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/07/29/1190056156/as-nyc-limits-access-to-migrants-and-asylum-seekers-many-are-left-homeless">See the story.</a>
/ Jose Alvarado Jr.
/
Jose Alvarado Jr.
NEW YORK CITY: Asylum-seekers who arrived in New York City under the expressway that has provided them shelter. Others had no choice but to join a homeless camp of nearly 20 men. See the story.
MOORE HAVEN, Fla.: A female Snail Kite carries an Apple Snail in her mouth while flying over Lake Okeechobee on February 10, 2023. The invasive snail is helping to save the endangered bird. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/03/14/1157862843/endangered-snail-kite-invasive-apple-snail-florida">See the story.</a>
/ Sydney Walsh for NPR
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Sydney Walsh for NPR
MOORE HAVEN, Fla.: A female Snail Kite carries an Apple Snail in her mouth while flying over Lake Okeechobee on February 10, 2023. The invasive snail is helping to save the endangered bird. See the story.
ALEXANDRIA, Va.: A Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center resident holds a tambourine after her final performance in Sound Impact's three-day residency. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/06/02/1178762181/incarcerated-teens-find-escape-in-music-and-poems-composed-with-artists">See the story.</a>
/ Shuran Huang For NPR
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Shuran Huang For NPR
ALEXANDRIA, Va.: A Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center resident holds a tambourine after her final performance in Sound Impact's three-day residency. See the story.
SILVER SPRING, MD: Oleksandr Fedun, 24, holds onto railings as he practices walking on his prosthetics at Medical Center Orthotics & Prosthetics in Silver Spring, Maryland on February 2, 2023. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/02/07/1153472827/ukrainian-soldiers-benefit-from-u-s-prosthetics-expertise-but-their-war-is-diffe">See the story.</a>
/ Eric Lee for NPR
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Eric Lee for NPR
SILVER SPRING, MD: Oleksandr Fedun, 24, holds onto railings as he practices walking on his prosthetics at Medical Center Orthotics & Prosthetics in Silver Spring, Maryland on February 2, 2023. See the story.
LOS ANGELES: Ziare Gearring (left) and his grandfather Ricky Brown pose for a portrait. The 65-year-old retired handyman had been struggling after taking in three grandsons after his ex-wife's death put him thousands of dollars behind on rent. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/10/04/1202374047/los-angeles-is-using-ai-to-predict-who-might-become-homeless-and-help-before-the">See the story.</a>
Grace Widyatmadja / NPR
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NPR
LOS ANGELES: Ziare Gearring (left) and his grandfather Ricky Brown pose for a portrait. The 65-year-old retired handyman had been struggling after taking in three grandsons after his ex-wife's death put him thousands of dollars behind on rent. See the story.
NEW YORK CITY: In September, President Volodymyr Zelensky was in the U.S. to speak to Congress and meet with the United Nations Security Council. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/09/22/1200812392/securing-his-western-flank-zelenskyy-bids-to-maintain-his-u-s-support">See the story and watch the interview.</a>
/ Kholood Eid for NPR
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Kholood Eid for NPR
NEW YORK CITY: In September, President Volodymyr Zelensky was in the U.S. to speak to Congress and meet with the United Nations Security Council. See the story and watch the interview.
BROOKLYN, N.Y.: Migrants return to a housing center in Brooklyn. New York estimates more than 50,000 migrants have come to the city in the past year. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/04/24/1171498241/arlington-house-robert-e-lee-reconciliation">See the story.</a>
/ Salvador Espinoza for NPR
/
Salvador Espinoza for NPR
BROOKLYN, N.Y.: Migrants return to a housing center in Brooklyn. New York estimates more than 50,000 migrants have come to the city in the past year. See the story.
BROOKLYN, MD: Parker, a six and a half-year-old search and rescue dog, poses for a portrait in Brooklyn, Maryland, on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/11/02/1209466148/dogs-rescue-working-canines-fema-natural-disaster-recovery">See the story.</a>
/ Haiyun Jiang for NPR
/
Haiyun Jiang for NPR
BROOKLYN, MD: Parker, a six and a half-year-old search and rescue dog, poses for a portrait in Brooklyn, Maryland, on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023. See the story.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.: Sarah Collins Rudolph survived the bombing. She was 12 years old at the time. "I am the 5th little girl that survived the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing," she says. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/09/14/1199312953/16th-street-baptist-church-bombing-60th-anniversary">See the story.</a>
/ Lynsey Weatherspoon for NPR
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Lynsey Weatherspoon for NPR
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.: Sarah Collins Rudolph survived the bombing. She was 12 years old at the time. "I am the 5th little girl that survived the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing," she says. See the story.
PAGE COUNTY, VA.: Roger Houser's family has worked the land in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley for three generations.  Houser was excited when a solar company offered to lease his land. But his hopes were dashed by a legal battle against development. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/02/18/1154867064/solar-power-misinformation-activists-rural-america">See the story.</a>
Ryan Kellman / NPR
/
NPR
PAGE COUNTY, VA.: Roger Houser's family has worked the land in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley for three generations. Houser was excited when a solar company offered to lease his land. But his hopes were dashed by a legal battle against development. See the story.
ARLINGTON, VA.: On Saturday, about 100 people came to the Arlington House for the Finding Our Voice program. Descendants of the enslavers and the enslaved gathered at the Arlington House, the former plantation once owned by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his wife, Mary Custis Lee. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/04/24/1171498241/arlington-house-robert-e-lee-reconciliation">See the story.</a>
/ Dee Dwyer for NPR
/
Dee Dwyer for NPR
ARLINGTON, VA.: On Saturday, about 100 people came to the Arlington House for the Finding Our Voice program. Descendants of the enslavers and the enslaved gathered at the Arlington House, the former plantation once owned by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his wife, Mary Custis Lee. See the story.
BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C.: Marine recruits wait for their drill instructor as they cross the base at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island on August 22, 2023. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/09/10/1197055903/for-a-new-generation-of-marines-9-11-is-history">See the story.</a>
/ Gavin McIntyre for NPR
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Gavin McIntyre for NPR
BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C.: Marine recruits wait for their drill instructor as they cross the base at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island on August 22, 2023. See the story.
UVALDE, TEXAS: The memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas for the mass shooting that happened on May 24, 2022, killed 19 children and two teachers. For surviving families, the year since has been an agonizing fight for answers and accountability. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/05/24/1177729989/a-year-after-uvaldes-school-massacre-healing-remains-elusive">See the story.</a>
/ Verónica G. Cárdenas for NPR
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Verónica G. Cárdenas for NPR
UVALDE, TEXAS: The memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas for the mass shooting that happened on May 24, 2022, killed 19 children and two teachers. For surviving families, the year since has been an agonizing fight for answers and accountability. See the story.
NEVADA CITY, CA: Members of the California National Guard's Task Force Rattlesnake clear brush and small trees to reduce the likelihood of a high-intensity wildfire on August 8, 2023. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/08/23/1194434368/fire-season-national-guard-climate-change">See the story.</a>
/ Max Whittaker for NPR
/
Max Whittaker for NPR
NEVADA CITY, CA: Members of the California National Guard's Task Force Rattlesnake clear brush and small trees to reduce the likelihood of a high-intensity wildfire on August 8, 2023. See the story.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA: Omar Apollo taught himself how to sing from watching Youtube videos. 'I always knew I wanted to sing, I just wasn't good yet,' he said. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/02/02/1151332279/2023-grammy-award-nominees-omar-apollo">See the story.</a>
Grace Widyatmadja / NPR
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NPR
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.: Omar Apollo taught himself how to sing from watching Youtube videos. 'I always knew I wanted to sing, I just wasn't good yet,' he said. See the story.
GALVESTON, TX: Some of the fastest sea level rise in the world is happening in Galveston, Texas. By 2050, Galveston could experience more than 200 days of flooding every year. <a href="https://apps.npr.org/arctic-ice-melting-climate-change/texas-galveston-sea-level-rise.html">See the story.</a>
Ryan Kellman / NPR
/
NPR
GALVESTON, TX: Some of the fastest sea level rise in the world is happening in Galveston, Texas. By 2050, Galveston could experience more than 200 days of flooding every year. See the story.
ALHAMBRA, Calif: Becki Peng holds a sign honoring Brandon Tsay as she waits in line to meet him at the Alhambra Lunar New Year Festival. Tsay was praised for preventing a gunman, who had killed 11 people and injured 10 others at a dance hall, from carrying out a second attack. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/02/03/1152343714/brandon-tsay-monterey-park-interview-alhambra">See the story.</a>
/ Jane Hahn for NPR
/
Jane Hahn for NPR
ALHAMBRA, Calif: Becki Peng holds a sign honoring Brandon Tsay as she waits in line to meet him at the Alhambra Lunar New Year Festival. Tsay was praised for preventing a gunman, who had killed 11 people and injured 10 others at a dance hall, from carrying out a second attack. See the story.
SUNNYSIDE, WA: A field worker uproots weeds in between rows of hops on a farm near Sunnyside, Washington on June 14, 2023.<a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/07/21/1188258994/overtime-farmworkers-washington-state-agriculture"> See story here.</a>
/ Mike Kane for NPR
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Mike Kane for NPR
SUNNYSIDE, WA: A field worker uproots weeds in between rows of hops on a farm near Sunnyside, Washington on June 14, 2023.See story here.
FALCON HEIGHTS, MINN.: Charlie Minor, Hunter Beestmen and Brayden Lytle check out the equipment at the Army recruitment tent at the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights, Minn., on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/10/01/1199543004/recruitment-military">See the story.</a>
/ Jenn Ackerman for NPR
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Jenn Ackerman for NPR
FALCON HEIGHTS, MINN.: Charlie Minor, Hunter Beestmen and Brayden Lytle check out the equipment at the Army recruitment tent at the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights, Minn., on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. See the story.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke to NPR about the Democrats' plans with the Inflation Reduction Act, at the Capitol, on Aug. 16. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/08/16/1194188604/schumer-says-inflation-reduction-act-provides-contrast-with-republicans-in-2024">See the story.</a>
Keren Carrión / NPR
/
NPR
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke to NPR about the Democrats' plans with the Inflation Reduction Act, at the Capitol, on Aug. 16. See the story.
TULARE LAKE BASIN, CALIF.: In California's Central Valley, a long-disappeared lake has been resurrected. A power line dangles precariously over the edge of the water now filling the Tulare Lake Basin, and a building on the horizon is caught in the middle of the flood. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/05/05/1173069933/snowpack-california-2023-flooding-what-to-expect">See the story.</a>
Claire Harbage / NPR
/
NPR
TULARE LAKE BASIN, CALIF.: In California's Central Valley, a long-disappeared lake has been resurrected. A power line dangles precariously over the edge of the water now filling the Tulare Lake Basin, and a building on the horizon is caught in the middle of the flood. See the story.
WASHINGTON., D.C.: Gianandrea Noseda directs the National Symphony Orchestra at a rehearsal at the Kennedy Center. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/04/14/1169719392/a-music-director-goes-public-with-a-secret-stash-of-private-instruments">See the story.</a>
Keren Carrion / NPR
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NPR
WASHINGTON., D.C.: Gianandrea Noseda directs the National Symphony Orchestra at a rehearsal at the Kennedy Center. See the story.
MEMPHIS: Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Isaac James greets children at the Memphis Refugee Empowerment Program on Feb. 15. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/05/12/1165055943/black-immigrants-memphis-nashville-tennessee">See the story.</a>
/ Ariel Cobbert for NPR
/
Ariel Cobbert for NPR
MEMPHIS: Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Isaac James greets children at the Memphis Refugee Empowerment Program on Feb. 15. See the story.
BALTIMORE, MD.: Claire Sanford and Chad Richhart have been coming to see the Baltimore Orioles since 1992. They came dressed for the bird bath, a splash zone seating area for fans at Camden Yards. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/10/07/1203945073/baltimore-orioles-baseball-mlb-playoffs">See the story.</a>
Keren Carrión / NPR
/
NPR
BALTIMORE, MD.: Claire Sanford and Chad Richhart have been coming to see the Baltimore Orioles since 1992. They came dressed for the bird bath, a splash zone seating area for fans at Camden Yards. See the story.
FLORIDA KEYS: The Key deer is the smallest deer species in North America. The deer live only in the low-lying Florida Keys. They are considered federally endangered, with an estimated population of around 1,000. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/11/12/1204063795/key-deer-florida-keys-sea-level-rise">See the story.</a>
Ryan Kellman / NPR
/
NPR
FLORIDA KEYS: The Key deer is the smallest deer species in North America. The deer live only in the low-lying Florida Keys. They are considered federally endangered, with an estimated population of around 1,000. See the story.
ELLSWORTH, MAINE: Autumn Mowery, 20, operates the candlepin bowling alley in Ellsworth, Maine. She has been running the place by herself and needs to update the bowling alley's machinery in order to be able to hire any employees. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/01/29/1151848417/a-maine-community-comes-together-to-save-a-candlepin-bowling-tradition">See the story.</a>
/ Sofia Aldinio for NPR
/
Sofia Aldinio for NPR
ELLSWORTH, MAINE: Autumn Mowery, 20, operates the candlepin bowling alley in Ellsworth, Maine. She has been running the place by herself and needs to update the bowling alley's machinery in order to be able to hire any employees. See the story.
TULSA, OKLA.: Paula Naylor pushes her father, Paul Romanello, with his wheelchair on Dec. 21 Romanello was recently celebrated by the Centenarians of Oklahoma when he turned 100 years old. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/01/02/1145096613/centenarians-of-oklahoma">See the story.</a>
/ Michael Noble Jr. for NPR
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Michael Noble Jr. for NPR
TULSA, OKLA.: Paula Naylor pushes her father, Paul Romanello, with his wheelchair on Dec. 21 Romanello was recently celebrated by the Centenarians of Oklahoma when he turned 100 years old. See the story.
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Belgian soprano Gwendoline Blondeel performs as la Folie (madness) in the Opera Lafayette production of Jean-Philippe Rameau's recently completed 18th century opera <em>Io</em>. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/05/03/1173042566/a-forgotten-opera-premieres-280-years-late">See the story.</a>
/ Keren Carrión/NPR
/
Keren Carrión/NPR
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Belgian soprano Gwendoline Blondeel performs as la Folie (madness) in the Opera Lafayette production of Jean-Philippe Rameau's recently completed 18th century opera Io. See the story.
LAHAINA, MAUI: Volunteers helping those who lost homes in Lahaina stop to pray on a hillside. The town is surrounded by dry, invasive grasses which are highly flammable. <a href="https://www.npr.org/2023/08/18/1194505306/3-strategies-maui-can-adopt-from-other-states-to-help-prevent-dangerous-wildfire">See the story.</a>
/ Deanne Fitzmaurice for NPR
/
Deanne Fitzmaurice for NPR
LAHAINA, MAUI: Volunteers helping those who lost homes in Lahaina stop to pray on a hillside. The town is surrounded by dry, invasive grasses which are highly flammable. See the story.

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