SoWal People: Jeff Talbert of the Florida Park Service

April 14, 2014 by SoWal Staff

Jeff Talbert loves the outdoors and he loves photography. Being a Resource Management Park Services Specialist for the state of Florida and stationed at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park gives him unique opportunities to combine his interests. Jeff often is in a great position to photograph South Walton wildlife in the park. We've enjoyed his photography for years and are happy to share a bit.

When did you first get interested in photography?

I've always been interested in photography, as much as I love to read I just as much like looking at pictures. I really got into it 2 years ago after I realized I was never going to get the shots I wanted with a point and shoot.

Who is the most influential person in your life - living or historical figure?

My parents, how I am as an adult is a reflection of how they raised me as a child.

Where is the most interesting place you've found yourself when taking a picture?

The most interesting place I've found myself while taking a picture was at the base of the tallest waterfall in the world, Angel Falls, in Venezuela. This was before I got my own DSLR and I was using my sister in laws, but it was the trip that made me decide to get and learn on my own, I had my camera a month later.

If you could go on a photo trip anywhere in the world where would you go?

If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go everywhere in the world. I would also like to photograph a Formula 1 race.

What is your favorite subject to photograph?

My favorite subject to photograph is my park; Topsail has so much to offer and always has something different.

Name a movie you could watch again and again.

I could/do watch Pee Wee's Big Adventure again and again.

Can you tell us a little bit about your recent trip to Montana?

I had an unused plane ticket from earlier in the year, and I picked a place that I had always wanted to see, Glacier National Park. I spent 4 days out there hiking and taking pictures. It turned out to be a more spiritual trip than I thought it was going to be, I really connected with myself and the world. I was also able to challenge myself enough to stand atop Mt. Aeneas. It was a special experience that I was lucky to have.


  • Born 1980 in Ocala, Florida
  • Dad got job at Kennedy Space Center in 1988, moved to Titusville
  • Gave speech at the induction of John Glenn into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990
  • Worked as a camp counselor at Space Camp in Titusville
  • Played quarterback at Titusville High School, graduated 1999
  • Attended FSU, B.S. in Political Science, with minor in History
  • Volunteer Student Assistant Coach under Jeff Bowden, 2000-2004
  • Worked at AmeriCorps teaching reading in a Tallahassee Title 1 school
  • Attended Webber International University in Lake Wales, MBA in Sport Management
  • Worked as Graduate Assistant Football Coach
  • Moved to South Walton in 2007
  • Worked as a Campaign Manager for a Florida State House Race in 2008
  • Got Job as a Park Ranger at Grayton Beach State Park in June 2008
  • Promoted to Resource Management Park Services Specialist at Topsail Hill Preserve in July 2012
  • Father is Rick Talbert, Fire Chief South Walton Fire District
  • Mother works at YOLO Board and Beach


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