Signs of the times


Early in the coronavirus shutdown, Boulder photographer Marsha Steckling walked Pearl Street, only seeing three or four people out on the mall. And the local businesses she frequented (places like Trident, where she met her husband) were mostly shuttered to the public. But she did notice the signs, often expressing hope and a sense of community, sometimes humor, that hung in the doors and windows of downtown Boulder buildings.

“Going down and seeing that first sign and what these businesses were saying, it created a sense of connection for me,” she says.

Steckling has been a professional photographer for about two decades, specializing in portraits — people, families, pets — but when the coronavirus pandemic hit, she transitioned to a new project: documenting the signs. 

“The signs created a little bit of connection we can still have with these places,” she says. “I love these places. I’ve been frequenting businesses for years and years, and we create memories there. I was feeling grief for not being able to be in these places anymore.”

Now, activity is picking up, as some retail shops are open and restaurants are soon to follow, but her project documenting this strange time can be viewed forever (at Here are a few of our favorite shots.  

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