TuesdaysTogether Leaders Retreat | Charleston, South Carolina Photographer | Business

 TuesdaysTogether Leaders Retreat | Charleston, South Carolina

I have mentioned before that I have the absolute privilege of leading the Hampton Roads Peninsula chapter of The Rising Tide Society. I came across this opportunity last May, and have led this group of creative entrepreneurs for almost a year. It's a passion of mine to help others succeed in their businesses, and being part of the #communityovercompetition movement is inspiring. This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to go on a leaders retreat to Charleston, South Carolina, with the other Hampton Roads leaders - and it was incredible!

 TuesdaysTogether Leaders Retreat | Charleston, South Carolina

The first day was mostly filled with travel, but once Erika, Audrey, and I made it to Charleston we jumped right into exploring. From Rainbow Row to the beautiful coastline and the downtown market, we adventured to all the places everyone told me we just had to see. The night ended with dinner at The Oyster House on Market with 50-60 other Rising Tide leaders. It was so fun to see old friends and people I've only 'met' online, and it was such a fun way to kick off the weekend!

 Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina
 Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina
 TuesdaysTogether Leaders Retreat | Charleston, South Carolina
 Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina

The next two days were filled with speakers and workshops that left me feeling both inspired and encouraged in my role as a leader. There were too many to name, but my favorites were Annamarie Akin's talk about true collaboration, Shaunae Teske's ideas on how to keep your group excited and engaged, and Megan Martin's pop up workshop on Instagram styling. It was also inspiring to hear the big dreams and plans of our four fearless founders going into 2016 and beyond.

 Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina

Truly, the best part of this weekend was getting to know the leaders across this country - and even in Canada! - who work every month to keep their groups excited about building a community that will last. The closest community I formed on the retreat was with Erika and Audrey, fellow leaders in the Hampton Roads area. It was so refreshing to spend time talking about everything from our personal hopes and dreams to plans for our group, chatting far into the night when we should have been sleeping and laughing at the ridiculous amount of times we got lost in a 2-square mile radius.

Charleston now has my heart for so many reasons. The cute shops and colorful homes that line the street were so cheerful and bright. The horse-drawn carriage tours and kerosene lanterns brought me back to what life would have been like hundreds of years ago. And can we talk about the food?! I had to get pulled pork (at Poogan's Smokehouse, of course!), and a brand new juice bar (Whisk) didn't disappoint. Our last meal before leaving town was at an adorable southern restaurant called LowCountry Bistro.

 Colorful houses in Charleston, South Carolina

I love all these things about Charleston, but what I love most if what it represents. To me it represents the chance to get away and travel to a place I've never been. It represents it represents new relationships formed and old ones growing stronger. And finally, it represents a community that I didn't have just one short year ago that has changed my life and is turning the world upside down.

Here's to The Rising Tide Society and all that is to come!

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 Exploring Charleston, South Carolina
 Exploring Charleston, South Carolina
 Exploring Charleston, South Carolina
 Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina
 Exploring Charleston, South Carolina
 Exploring Charleston, South Carolina

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.