Martha Asencio-Rhine - Photo Director, Projects & Features

Photo Director, Projects & Features

Ever heard of a momtographer? That was me. I took loads of photos of my two boys, building a love for photography that took me back to the classroom at 32 to get a college degree. Photojournalism wasn’t a word I was familiar with until seeing the work of the masters which led me down rabbit holes and ultimately to Google where I typed, “How to become a photojournalist?” Limited to my location due to the husband and kids thing, I chased a journalism degree at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, a great choice as it set me on a path to intern at the Tampa Bay Times’ photo department. Since formally joining the team I’ve learned a lot from smart, talented people and found a well of support. I’m originally from the Dominican Republic but I’ve grown up in St. Pete; the Times is my hometown newspaper. I love spending time with my family, including the rowdy Dominicans in the diaspora. Any outing with friends is always fun; bikes, beach, brunch, plus reading a lot of novels, shopping for antiques, getting lost in the trees or laying in the sun.

  1. Rescue workers with Tidewater Disaster Response wade through a tidal surge on SW 358 Hwy while looking for people in need of help where the Steinhatchee River remained out of its banks after the arrival of Hurricane Idalia on Florida's west coast at Taylor County in the Big Bend area, on Wednesday, Aug 30, 2023.
  2. Athena Dickinson, 7, of St. Petersburg, cools off in the spray of a water jet at the Splash Pad while visiting the St. Pete Pier on Friday, Aug 18, 2023.
  3. Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Jose Siri (22) is pictured during a game against the Minnesota Twins at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Thursday, June 8, 2023.
  4. From left, Hope Peña, 24, Courtney O’Brien, 28, Katelynn Calixte, 21, CJ O’Brien, 23, Nate Calixte, 24, and Zelda Sainclair, 29, wait in line for Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour stop at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Wednesday, August 16, 2023.
  5. Clearwater Fire and Rescue junior beach lifeguard campers sprint to open water with rescue boards, under the guidance of water safety supervisor Konrad Ciolko, at left, on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, at Clearwater Beach. Rescuers use the boards to retrieve and transport victims to shore by paddling their arms.
  6. Willow, a black lab and golden retriever mix, shakes water off while having fun during Dog Swim Day at Fossil Park Pool on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023 in St. Petersburg .
  7. A two-spotted skipper collects nectar from a purple pickerel weed at the Earle property, on Thursday, July 27, 2023, in Dunedin.
  8. Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Jose Siri (22) celebrates moments after hitting a solo home run during the seventh inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, July 21, 2023, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
  9. The St. Petersburg Fourth of July fireworks display on Tuesday, July 4, 2023 at the St. Pete Pier.
  10. Thousands marched down Central Avenue in St. Petersburg's first St. Pete Pride Promenade. At the end of the promenade, a 300-yard rainbow flag was unfurled.
  11. Aerial drone view of Capri Mobile Home Park, which has been abandoned. Beyond, new apartment buildings are seen at the former site of Southern Comfort Mobile Home Park in Clearwater.
  12. Nadine Seiler holds a banner sign saying "Trump indicted" outside the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. Courthouse on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. Former President Donald Trump is making a federal court appearance on dozens of felony charges accusing him of illegally hoarding classified documents and thwarting the Justice Department's efforts to get the records back. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
  13. Cauiau Davis-McKinney, 18, celebrates after collecting his diploma during Gibbs High School’s commencement ceremony at Tropicana Field on Monday in St. Petersburg.
  14. Scott Ottmer, 43, and Dawn Ottmer, 40, of Brandon, kiss each other after they renew their vows in front of a backdrop of Tatooine during a May the Fourth wedding celebration at the Pat Frank Courthouse on Thursday, May 4, 2023, in Tampa.
  15. Mayor Jane Castor is applauded by her family at the conclusion of the Oath of Office Ceremony where she was sworn in for a second term alongside members of the City Council, Monday, May 1, 2023 in Tampa.
  16. Taylor Swift performs during the first of her three sold-out Tampa shows on the Eras tour, at Raymond James Stadium, Thursday, April 13, 2023 in Tampa.
  17. Taylor Swift performs “Cruel Summer” during the first of her three sold-out Tampa shows on the Eras tour, at Raymond James Stadium, Thursday, April 13, 2023 in Tampa.
  18. Kyrou the huskie relaxes before the start of the 11th Annual Eckerd College Pet Graduation, at Fox Hall, Tuesday, April 11, 2023 in St. Petersburg.
  19. Former President Trump leaves Trump Tower in New York for Manhattan Criminal Court, where he will be booked and arraigned on charges stemming from a hush money payment to a porn actor during his 2016 campaign, Tuesday, April 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
  20. Polly Kraus with Moms Demand Action participates in a “Stop the Violence” walk to raise awareness for community issues such as violent crimes and shootings Tuesday in St. Petersburg.
  21. A float comes through Bayshore Boulevard during the Children’s Gasparilla Parade on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Tampa.
  22. Jan. 16• St. Petersburg
    The Savannah State University marching band performs during the MLK Day Dream Big Parade, Monday, Jan. 16, 2023 in St. Petersburg.