I went to Saguaro National Park West outside of Tucson specifically hoping to take some sunset photos as I have always enjoyed that time of day in the desert. It is the time when the day begins cooling down and often a light breeze gently blows through the area as wildlife take advantage of the cooler climate. It is a peaceful time to reflect and absorb the natural beauty of the desert.

I took this photo as the sun began its descent. I had been driving around the park taking numerous photos and waiting for the light to change when I happened upon this scene with a majestic saguaro in the foreground and the beautiful Baboquivari Mountains in the background.

With sunset photography the window of time is very small to capture a scene because the light changes so rapidly. I was still driving when I realized this was the perfect moment for a photograph, so I stopped the car, grabbed my camera, lept out and dashed into the desert toward a saguaro cactus that I thought would look good with the sunset in the background. This photo was taken handheld and shot in the seconds before the light changed and was gone.

Laura Demko is the March 2014 photo contest winner.