No matter how big it gets or how much it changes, Denver is a city that will always be a part of me. Growing up in Arvada, Colorado's capital city was only a short drive away throughout my life. I remember how as soon as I turned sixteen and got my license, Denver was one of the very first destinations that I took my dad's minivan to. The streets were organized chaos and the buildings were taller than life. As a teenager, a sense of belonging coursed through my veins whenever I entered the city limits, and still does to this day.

Matt Sparx
Matt Sparx

But my love of our capital goes beyond the excitement and bustle of downtown. The architecture of the Mile High City's skyline is what first inspired me to try my hand at photography. Night photography in particular was my passion for the longest time and Denver was the catalyst. A spot off of I-25 and Speer is where I would often go to stare at the skyline, taking in the glittering towers and yellow-lit roads. The photo above was one of my very first shots taken of Denver at night.

I can vividly remember waiting for that perfect moment of color when the sky darkens and the skyscrapers came to life. The city is beautiful to me, and remains so. The days of wanting to live smack-dab in the middle of it all have passed, but I still can't get enough of the skyline.

I came across this video tonight and felt compelled to share it with you. The video shows the beauty of Denver, but in a new and heartbreaking way. With Colorado under stay-at-home orders, we've all been seeing signs of the emptiness filling our state. But the city and county of Denver was the first heavily-populated county to enact such strict rules, and the results are striking. The COVID-19 pandemic has left the Mile High City deserted, much like a recently-abandoned ghost town.

The video was taken on April 1, 2020 by YouTuber Troy Shieman. Troy, if you happen upon this video, thank you for creating this. It pulled me in two directions at once... The first left me in awe of the beauty of Denver, but the second left me heartbroken to see what the virus has done to the city.

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Source: Youtube

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