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. A float comes through Bayshore Boulevard during the Children’s Gasparilla Parade on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Tampa.
  2. 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.
  3. Walter Evans enseña Shotokan, una forma tradicional de karate, y Sanuces Ryu jujitsu a estudiantes principiantes el lunes 9 de mayo de 2022 en el Centro Recreativo North Greenwood en Clearwater. Evans fundó la Escuela de Supervivencia Shihan en 2005 y ofrece programas que combaten el aumento de la obesidad juvenil, la diabetes, la violencia, el acoso escolar, las actividades de pandillas, el comportamiento delictivo, el suicidio, el uso de drogas y otros problemas sociales.
  4. Walter Evans teaches Shotokan, a traditional form of karate, and Sanuces Ryu jujitsu to beginner students on May 9 at the North Greenwood Recreation Center in Clearwater. Evans founded the Shihan School of Survival in 2005 and offers programs that combat the increase of youth obesity, violence, suicide, drug use and other societal issues.
  5. NASA's new moon rocket lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Wednesday morning, Nov. 16, 2022, as seen from Harbor town Marina on Merritt Island, Fla. The moon is visible in the sky. (Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today via AP)
  6. Harold Walker cuts a tree that fell during the Hurricane Ian that blocks the front path to his house, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Tampa.
  7. Jake Moses, 19, left, and Heather Jones, 18, of Fort Myers, explore a section of destroyed businesses at Fort Myers Beach on Thursday, Sep 29, 2022. The community was mostly destroyed after Hurricane Ian made landfall on Wednesday.
  8. Pall bearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II with the Imperial State Crown resting on top into St. George's Chapel, in Windsor, England, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, for the committal service for Queen Elizabeth II. (Jeff J Mitchell/Pool Photo via AP)
  9. Aubrie, 16, sits for a makeover during Beauty Day at the Pace Center for Girls. Students were treated to makeup application by a professional makeup artist, glamour shots and free beauty products, Wednesday, May 25, 2022 in Pinellas Park.
  10. Natalie El Amrani leads students in a routine during after-school rehearsal for upcoming performances of the Cultural Expressions dance team she started. The team practices in her classroom at Melrose Elementary in St. Petersburg after school in January.
  11. Maria Drew of St. Petersburg hits a forehand on the court during her mixed doubles pickleball match at Crescent Lake Park in St. Petersburg on Thursday, Feb. 17. Drew, 55, is also a tennis player who played in college at Florida A&M University.
  12. Sofia Bardelli, 10, left,  and her sister Fiona Bardelli, 7, right, hang on during a ride on opening day of the Florida State Fair at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on Feb. 10.
  13. A brown pelican flies just above the water after being released.