St. Marinus, Wilparting, Bavaria, Germany

APRIL 2021 – The beautiful church St. Marinus in Wilparting, Bavaria, Germany, with the Alps as a backdrop on a sunny day. © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

I always wanted to capture this photo. Here’s why.

When you drive along the highway 8 from Munich, Germany, towards East, for example to get to Austria or Italy, you will pass the Irschenberg, one of the few steeper sections of the highway. First there will be a large rest area (Irschenberg Süd) with gas station, café, and some shops. Nothing to write home about, really.

And then, just as you were happy to leave that ugly annoance behind you, you will see this awesome view. Right from the highway. As you speed along, you will realize that there would have been a parking lot where you could capture the scene conveniently – from the parking lot!

We have been very often to Austria and Italy, and on many occasions I wanted to shoot a photo, especially at sunrise time (but we usually want to move on fast to stay ahead of the other travellers) or in the winter.

What makes this photo so special (to me) is the idea that it is purely fake. Sure, it looks like this in reality, and I applied only very light editing to it. And yes, it is without doubt beautiful. Maybe a bit on the kitsch side, but still beautiful. But from looking at this picture of the beautiful church and the gentle hills and high mountains you would never guess that just a few meters behind the photographer one of the busiest highways in Germany passes by, with the traffic relentlessly thundering by every second of the day. I like this contrast of total peace in the photo and the ugly reality (not in the photo).

So, when passing the Irschenberg rest area towards East, prepare yourself for a short stop – and take a photo of the iconic St. Marinus Church in Wilparting (near the A8).

The high resolution image

Capture Date & Time24-APR-2021, 09:37
LocationWilparting, Bavaria, Germany
CameraCanon EOS M6 Mark II
LensCanon EF-M18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
Exposure1/125 sec at f/16
Digital Image Source FormatCanon Camera RAW (CR3)
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions6576 x 4384 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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