This week featured the beginning of the college basketball season, a waxing gibbous moon and Thanksgiving break.


Hot air billows out of smokestacks at the energy plant near Route 1 on Nov. 23, 2020. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

I went to take photos of the university’s energy plant on a surprisingly windy day. As I climbed the levels of the garage at The Hotel at the University of Maryland, I saw the smokestacks creating a mirage in front of me as they pumped out hot air.

– Joe Ryan, assistant photo editor and senior staff photographer


Thousands of carefully placed flags honor victims of the coronavirus pandemic in front of the D.C. Armory on Nov. 24, 2020. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

On Tuesday, the beginning of my Thanksgiving break, I ventured into Washington, D.C., with friends. As we drove past the D.C. Armory, we noticed a field of white flags. Upon further examination, we realized the field had thousands of white flags, installed to honor those who had died from the coronavirus in the United States

The second photo is from the Smithsonian Gardens, also in Washington, D.C., this time located on the National Mall. I liked the symmetry of the shot, as the woman sat almost in the middle of the bench, which was in the middle of the bright yellow tree. 

– Julia Nikhinson, photo editor and senior staff photographer

A woman reads her newspaper in the Smithsonian Gardens in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 24, 2020. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)


Maryland men’s basketball players bow their heads during the Pledge of Allegiance before the Terps’ 85-67 win over Old Dominion on Nov. 25, 2020, in Xfinity Center. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

On Wednesday, after a long hiatus, I photographed my first basketball game of the season. The last time I was supposed to photograph a basketball game was March 12, when the men’s basketball Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis was set to be held before it was canceled. It was definitely a weird experience — photographers couldn’t be on the floor but could move around almost the entirety of Xfinity Center’s stands. Though it wasn’t exactly surprising the Terps won their 44th straight home opener, it felt good to be back in the game.

– Julia Nikhinson, photo editor and senior staff photographer


Guard Reese Mona goes up for a layup during Maryland men’s basketball 82-52 win over Navy on Nov. 27, 2020. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

On Friday, I photographed the Maryland men’s basketball game against Navy. At one point the score was quite close and for a second I wondered if the Terps would lose to the Midshipmen. But the Terps quickly gained on their opponents in the second half, ultimately winning, 82-52. 

– Julia Nikhinson, photo editor and senior staff photographer


Eric Harkleroad/The Diamondback

I shot this nearly full waxing gibbous moon through a telescope I connected my camera to. Astrophotography is a newfound interest of mine, and I’ve found taking pictures of the moon to be a simple but rewarding start.

– Eric Harkleroad, senior staff photographer


Guard Aaron Wiggins reaches for a layup during Maryland’s 79-61 win over Mount St. Mary’s at Xfinity Center on Nov. 29, 2020. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

Despite knowing the arena would be virtually empty except for the players and media, I could not have been more excited to go to my first live sporting event in the last eight months. In the spring, I covered the last game of the season for Maryland’s men’s basketball, when they won a share of the Big Ten title. I found myself reminiscing about the packed Xfinity Center during this game — no one was wearing a mask, and everyone wanted to get closer, not further apart.

Sunday’s game could not have been more different. I sat in a comfy arena seat designed for fans who paid to be there, surrounded by nobody. Halfway through the game I wondered why the arena announcer’s voice had so much static until I realized they must have been pumping in fake crowd noise. Still, I could hear everything, every squeak of a sneaker, every upset player after a foul, and if they didn’t play music during timeouts, I’m sure I could have heard coach Mark Turgeon designing plays in the huddle. In the end, Maryland defeated Mount St. Mary’s with a 79-61 win.

– Joe Ryan, assistant photo editor and senior staff photographer