I went into the forest to lose my mind and find my soul.

– John Muir


NOTE: This workshop was originally limited to women only. However, we hear you! And we’re opening this up to the guys, too! Please note that this is limited to 6 students due to space. There are 3 large en suite bedrooms available but students will be sharing. However……

We’ve also added a partner rate. The partners will be invited to all group events with the exception of photo reviews. See below!


Deadline: August 1st!



In 1979 Ted Turner, media mogul, conservationist, and all-around interesting guy, purchased St. Phillips, a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina to preserve its integrity as an unspoiled natural environment and protect it from development. It lies off the coast of Beaufort, SC, and just north of Hilton Head. He built himself a little 8,000 square foot house with 5 beds and 5 baths, and an 800 square foot screened porch overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. He didn’t build a bridge, and he didn’t allow gas-powered vehicles on the island. But, he did clear miles of bicycle and golf cart paths through the primordial landscape, thick with towering longleaf pines, old-growth magnolias and gnarled live oaks covered in Spanish moss.  The trails take you past freshwater ponds, between brackish sloughs and over sand dune ridges, to experience a variety of ecosystems and wetland habitats. Traveling the length of the island, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the salt marsh, Trenchard’s Inlet, and a “boneyard” beach scattered with the weather-beaten remnants of trees. The Turner Family used this as a beach getaway until 2017 when the state of South Carolina purchased it.





Boneyard Beach, directly in front of the Turner House, on the Atlantic ©SCparks.com

In November, SxSE Workshops and Molly Roberts will host a photography/wilderness/wellness workshop on St. Phillips for 4 days and 4 nights. We’ll stay in the Turner House and at night (with the exception of two state Rangers in the caretaker cottage who are also master naturalists) we will be all alone on the island. During the day small groups of day-trippers may be on the island. But, at 4700 acres, and 4 miles long, I doubt our paths will cross. There is still no bridge so once you step off the private ferry onto St.Phillips you’re there for four days and four nights.

Note: This workshop is geared toward photographers, but is not exclusive. If you’re creativity leans toward other things we welcome you, too.

Beach Sunrise on St. Phillips Island ©SCparks.com


What does the workshop include?

  • The amazing Molly Roberts who knows more about photography from every different angle than most anyone I know. Molly is working on plans for us to explore different genres of photography, including: portraiture and self-portraiture, coastal landscape, birding, and still life.
  • She wants you to bring any ongoing project you are working on with you, as we believe this environment will unleash all sorts of creativity. Also, in case there’s a rainy day she’s working on a documentary film fest of photographers. 
  • On Sunday afternoon a group critique will be held where we will share 5 of our favorite photos from the trip.
  • Four days and four nights on a private state-run island in luxury accommodations Park rangers, who are also master naturalists, to join us on walks, cart rides, boat rides, etc. to help us understand what we’re seeing, smelling, and hearing.
  • Two private boat rides in large boats around the island, into the ocean, and through the marsh – bring your equipment and spread out – probably with a sunrise or sunset included in at least one of those.
  • All meals – cooked by Nancy and one of her amazing assistants (notable photographers themselves). Happy Hour nosh, and snacks, also. We’ll be in touch regarding your likes and dislikes as we plan menus in the months to come. We’re designing our menu plan around the theme of ‘delicious wellness’.
  • All beverages – except alcohol. However, you are welcome to bring whatever you’d like in that category.
  • Golf carts (2, that hold 6 passengers each) to ride the island looking for spots to shoot portraiture, items for our still lifes, vantage points for landscapes, nesting birds, and amazing flora
  • Bicycles for those times you want to just be out on your own. OR in tandem.
  • Fishing equipment and bait – there’s a dock at Turner house and I’m dying to see if I remember my lessons from growing up on a fish farm! Maybe I’ll catch supper for us pescatareans.
  • Night-time star-gazing and shooting from our own private beach on the Atlantic, or out on the dock. The house has a telescope!
  • And wellness – to supplement the wildness and photography. The 800 square foot screened porch overlooking sunrise on the Atlantic sounds like a positively wonderful place to throw down a mat and stretch out yesterday’s crimps and cricks. Followed by some guided meditation on our headphones. Or, a cup of coffee and a book. A moment of gratitude. I’d like this to be a silent space before, say, 8 in the morning, what do you think? 
  • On the other end of the day, the private beach might be a great meditation, yoga, stretching, writing kinda place. Or bring a book! Beach furniture and cool drinks provided.
  • We’re open to all of your thoughts and suggetions. 


What does the workshop not include?

  • You have to get yourself to the dock on Hunting island, South Carolina by noon on November 7th. And back home once we return to the dock noon-‘ish November 11th.
  • Any alcohol you plan to imbibe or share.

Migrating Geese, St. Phillips Island, SC ©SCparks.com


Molly Roberts 

Molly Roberts is a documentary photographer, visuals editor and curator residing in Baltimore, Maryland.

Roberts’ 35+ year career includes creating visuals and managing contributing photographers at The Washington Post Magazine, USA Weekend, Smithsonian Magazine and National Geographic Magazine. She is the recipient of multiple awards for her magazine work including, the NPPA award for Best Use of Photography in a Magazine, finalist for National Magazine Award, special recognition for photography features by Communication Art, American Photography, and Society of Publication Design.

In 2019 she was awarded a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation fellowship to study and teach photography and multimedia at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where she received a masters degree in Visual Communication in 2021 focusing on the creative process and the history of the medium.

She has curated exhibits for PhotoWorks, Art Works Projects, University of Texas; Corpus Christi, Women Photojournalists of Washington, SXSE Gallery and Gallery 1448. She works on book projects for independent photographers and National Geographic Books. She has also participated in panels discussions and presentations about the current state of the photographic medium and the future of publishing at Ohio University School of Visual Communication, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Northern Short Course and the Corcoran/GW school of Fine Arts,

Roberts leads workshops in photo editing for long term visual projects and photo books. She teaches photography, photojournalism and photo-editing, recently at Ohio University and Loyola University. Roberts is a regular reviewer and mentor at La Luz Workshops, Palm Springs Photo Festival, Social Documentary Network, and Review Santa Fe as well as the annual Women Photojournalists of Washington portfolio review and Seminar, of which she is a co-director and member of the Board of Directors. She is co-host of the weekly podcast 10fps.net a podcast about photojournalism by photojournalists, but for everyone produced by Loyola University in Baltimore.

Molly fell in love with photography at age 17 and her love for the medium has been most enduring. “As a teenager, I stumbled upon the work of Robert Frank and Diane Arbus in the Harvard Square bookstore and time stood still. I decided it was the most revolutionary art form I’d ever experienced and I wanted it in my life. Since then I studied photography at UMD with John Gossage and along the way with many other generous mentors and creative souls. I have worked as a photographer for newspapers, magazines and books. I have edited books, magazines and special issues. I’ve judged photo contests and given lectures. Mostly, I’ve just enjoyed a life made richer by photography, a medium that is wonderfully suited to explore and make sense of the world and the issues that surround us.”

Past collaborations with SXSE Gallery and Magazine include the exhibitions,The Women’s Show, Picturing Self and Others, and Southern Landscapes. Workshops with SXSE include, Photo Editing for Long Term projects, and the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida, Mexico workshop.

Molly lives in Baltimore, in an artists community where her studio is a sanctuary of photobooks which she is happy to share with her fellow creatives and the gallery associated with the community is a never ending source of inspiration and lively collaboration.


This workshop is limited to 6 students.

This workshop is double-occupancy, all-inclusive. 




$4500 if paying by check. E nancy@sxsemagazine.com for address.

$4670 if paying by card. Click here to pay.

Partner Rate:

$3750 is paying by check. 

$3863 is paying by card. Click here to pay. 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to payment in advance requirements for St. Phillips Island there is no refund available after August 1st If you need to cancel ater August 1st we will gladly work with you to try to fill your spot. Otherwise, we always advise our students to purchase travel Insurance no matter what the refund policy is per workshop. SxSE uses Allianz travel insurance for our own needs. Our experience has been that they are economically priced, and professional when dealing with claims. If you’d like more information on this topic please email Nancy nancy@sxsemagazine.com


Questions? E nancy@sxsemagazine.com

Osprey couple, St. Phillips Island, SC ©SCparks.com