Summer is here and in the Southern United States, that means rain, generous drops, rumbling thunder, and humidity. But elsewhere, summer is the beach, the pool, or a walk on a pier. Summer is also fireworks—and lots of them.

This week’s challenge asked readers to submit photos that showed what summer is to them, and the results took us on a little holiday of our own. From a day at the ball game to a sunrise bike ride, here are the images that caught our eye this week.  

Want to be featured in a future readers’ gallery? First, check the website to view our weekly theme—we post a new one every Sunday. Then, either upload your submissions to our Flickr pool, tag them on Instagram, or join our (NEW) Photos of the Day Facebook group. That’s it!

Lead image by Jason Simpson. See more of Jason’s work here.

Sunrise ride

See more of Quintin’s work here. Quintin Doroquez

Made on a Hasselblad XPan using Kodak Portra 800, Quintin Doroquez’s photo of a sunrise cyclist captures the endless happiness of long summer days and the tranquility of having a morning all to yourself. 

The coast of Half Moon Bay

See more of Alecia’s work here. Alecia Griffin

This photo pushed all my nostalgia buttons. Growing up in the Bay Area, I’ve made my fair share of visits to Half Moon Bay and down the coast. I love that the person fishing in the background is wearing a sweatshirt. That’s the Northern California coast for you—sunny but cold. For Alecia Griffin, a day on the sand is what summer is all about.

“Summer is hearing the waves crashing and getting sand everywhere,” she writes. “Summer is walking for miles along an empty beach, but also picnics with friends and family at a crowded beach with surfers and dogs.”

Summer storm

See more of Neal’s work here. Neal Martin Dorst

Neal Martin Dorst captures summer life in the South—and nails it on film. Thunderstorms always seem to come out of nowhere, and they’re often gone as quickly as they came. Dorst used a Horizon 35mm panorama camera and Kodak Portra 400.

“[In] South Florida, summer means afternoon thunderstorms,” Dorst shares. ”Regular as clockwork, they bring shade, wind, and rain to blow away the sultry conditions that otherwise would prevail. This photo was taken looking west over Biscayne Bay toward downtown Miami as a storm moves in from the Everglades.”

An underwater dip

See more of Paula’s work here. Paula Gallagher Brown

Now, this is a cool photo. Underwater pictures are always fun, and Paula Gallagher Brown used her Panasonic DMC-TS3 to capture her granddaughter in the swimming pool.

“Nothing spells summer like a dip in their pool on a hot, sunny, summer’s day!” she says.

Sunset at Redondo

See more of Robert’s work here. Robert Lalancette

You can take a girl out of California, but you can’t take California out of the girl. Robert Lalancette’s image of the Redondo Beach Pier made me remember summers visiting my own family at neighboring Hermosa Beach—all the sun, sand, ice cream, and one disastrous surfing lesson included. 

Take me out to the ball game…

See more of Jamie Lyn’s work here. Jamie Lyn Spaar

For many, summer means peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and an afternoon watching their favorite team play ball. Jamie Lyn Spaar captures the spirit of the game and the chaos that can ensue.