Wimberley, Texas, is more than 8,500 miles from Antarctica, but what happens there affects the local environment here.

“Mother Earth is our home; it’s a special place, and we need to protect it and understand it,” said Filmmaker James Douglas Cooper. “Whether we are standing on dirt here in Wimberley or on ice in Antarctica, it’s the same planet.”

National Geographic Photographer Rodney Bursiel is collaborating with Cooper to create a documentary on Antarctica called ‘Frozen in Time.”

On February 26th, Bursiel and Cooper hosted a fundraiser at the Montesino Ranch in Wimberley. More than 200 people attended the event, which featured music by Ruthie Foster, Jimmie Ray Vaughan, the Doc Carter Band, and Donovan Frankenreiter—the evening also featured a silent auction that raised thousands of additional dollars for the upcoming expedition.

“We’re at the beginning of the journey,” Cooper said. “We’re going to do something you’ve never seen before. We’re going to introduce you to places you have not seen before. We’re going to raise awareness for what’s going on and that we’re losing this beautiful white ice and how it’s impacting people back here.”

The filmmakers and photographers plan to take an eight-person boat to the area. Cooper said they intend to dive extensively in the new, undiscovered regions. He said the project will create a documentary, a book, and more. They plan to begin shooting next year, Cooper said.

They will track humpback whales, orcas, leopard seals, penguins, and more, Bursiel said.

“We’re documenting Antarctica, something that we are losing. It’s changing by the day, and we want to go capture this and see it before it’s gone because it could be gone in our lifetime,” Bursiel said.

The project seeks to create an awareness, Bursiel said.

Bursiel lives in Wimberley and has an art gallery downtown. In 2017, he won a National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year award. He specializes in wildlife photography and has photographed famous musicians, including Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Edie Brickell, Ruthie Foster, Kelly Willis, ZZ Top, and others.

For more information, visit Rodney Bursiel’s website and sign up for his newsletter. He plans additional fundraising events.