Into the Wild by Michael Novotny in Rychnov nad Kneznou, Czech Republic

The Eagle Mountains are less than 10 km from my hometown, Rychnov nad Kneznou in the Czech Republic. I love nature and it has been the place where I’ve escaped to my whole life – so I consider it my home.  My first photography steps and many other steps were made there. I have always wanted to capture the solitude I experience there. When you know the right places, you can spend the whole day alone in endless woods without seeing anyone else. It is just a great place for meditation and relaxation.

Name:Michael Novotny

Film photographer and traveler. Currently working at an Icelandic countryside hotel.


Landscape architecture student, Photographer, Geodesist

Tell us about Rychnov nad Kneznou:

Not the tallest mountains in the world – the highest peak is 1110 m. The beautiful woods are full of life and the fog gives this place a unique feeling. You can also find a lot of ruins and abandoned houses (actually whole villages) left here by displaced Germans after WWII – sad history.

A perfect day?

Just walking around the woods on an foggy autumn day.

What is the best thing about Rychnov nad Kneznou?

Solitude, nature, forests.

What is the worst?

It has no cons, trust me!

What would be surprising about Rychnov nad Kneznou to an outsider?

There are a lot of ruins.

If Rychnov nad Kneznou was a person or character who would it be?

They would be me and I would be them.

Who are three of your favorite artists?

I like young photographers of my generation. Reuben Wu is a great middle format landscape photographer, Theo Gosselin in my opinion, is the best living life style photographer and I love the fashion and portrait work of Lukasz Wierzbowski.


Name:Michael Novotny

City:Rychnov nad Kneznou

Favorite place to eat:

Hubalek for great local cuisine made from local products.

Favorite place to drink:

Wherever you are with your friends.

Best outdoor activity:

Disappear deep in the woods.

Local Tip:

Try to find Sajtava, a village with ruins in the middle of a thick forest.

Must Do:

Visit Aslo, in the Polish part of the Eagle Mountains. It will make you feel like you’ve time traveled 100 years back when visiting local villages.