The virgin islands were purchased by the United States from Denmark in 1917 for $17 million. The US bought the islands to make sure Germany could not use the islands as a submarine base during World War I. St Thomas is home to Charlotte Amalie, the islands’ capital. It is also a favorite destination for travelers.
After a storms passes the wind and waves can create dangerous rip currents. These currents travel from beach out to sea and those not familiar with them can get caught and tire themselves out fighting the strong current. To help prevent tragedies most of Florida's beaches now have signs explaining how to escape the dangerous currents.
When a wall was built around San Juan, Puerto Rico, doors were built as the only way to access the city. Over the years those doors have disappeared. This is the last remaining door, an entrance from San Juan Bay into the old city. The huge entryway is a landmark of its own right. It is open most days so tourists can cross through the thick walls from the promenade into the old city.
A Beach on the Dutch side of St Martin in the Caribbean. Light sand in the foreground is a marked contrast to the mountains in the background. Local merchants rent umbrellas, and water sport gear to tourists while others sell beer and refreshments.
Evergreens hold onto an early snow that turned leafless trees white. This is a view from Clingman's Dome in the Blueridge Mountains.