I encountered this cheetah in the dry Auob riverbed in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The cat was moving swiftly through the grass, only pausing briefly to watch some Springbuck some distance away. Finding a good composition proved difficult and I thought that this sighting was bound to end without a photograph I would be happy with. She then sat on the opposite side of the riverbed and I noticed symmetry in the camelthorn trees in front of her. Intentionally exposing for a ‘high-key’ image, I framed her in such a way that the trees seemed to create an archway of branches and leaves, with the cat staring into the gap underneath it. What was she staring at? It felt like she was looking into the future, and it made me think about the future of these threatened big cats. Space for wild cheetahs – large open landscapes with sufficient food and protection, spaces like the Kgalagadi, are few and far between. In a future with an even larger human population, will there still be a place for these majestic animals to live in a way that we can enjoy seeing them as they should be – wild and free?