(CNN) -- Mark Collier grew up in the mountains of Vermont. Every autumn, he would see an influx of tourists flood his state to get a glimpse of the brilliant fall leaves. He didn't get what the big deal was. "Why do people come to look at the trees?" he wondered.
But as he got older, he developed an interest in photography. And that made him stop taking the vibrant autumn color for granted.
"I suddenly began to notice the stunning colors that seemed to blanket the hills in fire each fall as the days got shorter and the nights became colder," he remembers. "Slowly but surely, as I gained experience and insight, I began to really understand what a special place Vermont is, and I began to fall in love with my home and the stunning colors."
Collier is now a staff photographer for the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus. This year, he decided for the first time to document the fall beauty of his state.
He shared his images alongside dozens of other photographers on CNN iReport. The best of his shots, along with other images of autumn around the world, are in the gallery above.