Lake Waccamaw scenery leads to book release

Matthew Dudley turned a love of photography and Lake Waccamaw into two books of his photographs.
Matthew Dudley turned a love of photography and Lake Waccamaw into two books of his photographs.


Matthew Dudley moved from Whiteville to Lake Waccamaw in 2017. The drum and percussion teacher was quickly drawn to what a lot of the locals admire about the area; the scenery. 

Armed with just his cell phone, Dudley began taking pictures while hiking and biking around the lake. He loved what he captured in the frame, and the hobby escalated from a cheap camera to a professional model. He shared his pictures through social media sites, and the comments and praises rolled in. Matthew searched online for photography books that were solely about Lake Waccamaw, but other than a mention of the area, or a photograph here and there, he couldn’t find any. Loaded with an abundance of pictures he wanted to share with the world, Matthew decided he would publish one himself. 

Matthew Dudley
Matthew Dudley

He enlisted the help of fellow educator and friend, Mark Powers, who has written and published several books, and together they navigated through Amazon KDP to publish Matthew’s first book, Lake Waccamaw: A Collection of Photos by Matt Dudley, Monochrome. It was released in December of 2020, and it stayed number one at the top of Amazon’s Hot New Release list for three days. It sold 75 copies the first two weeks, and inspired to Matthew to publish more. 

“I didn’t set out to make any money doing this. It was a passion project that I wanted to share. I had so many pictures,” Matthew said.  

The second series of the books entitled, Lake Waccamaw: A Collection of Photos by Matt Dudley, Wildlife Collection, is set to be released June 14. Matthew has been promoting his books online, and through social media, but will soon have physical copies of the first one in the series for purchase. There is more to come, and books will be published according to sells, and public response. 

For more information, Matthew can be reached on his website at, or by email at 

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at