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29 November 2022

November’s Don’t Send Me A Card featured artist

Duarte Valente is our featured artist for our Don’t Send Me A Card e-cards in November. He shares his photography inspired by his love of travel.

I’m self-taught when it comes to photography. I’ve been studying it for about 10 years now and I enjoy travel photography the most. I also recently got into street photography. Occasionally I hike and shoot at the same time, so my inspiration comes from walking down beautiful streets or up a mountain.

My MS journey

I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS in the autumn of 2020 after years of small episodes that I had written off as no big deal and too minor to see a physician about. But waking up one day with an optic neuritis was definitely something I could not ignore, especially as a photographer! My vision problems, coupled with my lack of balance, led me to see doctor after doctor. I was finally referred to get an MRI. After that, the full hospital checks followed, and I was officially diagnosed.

Duarte Valente

I discovered the Overcoming MS program through the Living Well With MS podcast just a few months post-diagnosis. I searched Spotify for “multiple sclerosis” and was drawn to the word “overcoming.” After listening to the first episode featuring Professor Jelinek, I was hooked and became a serial listener.

I adopted the Overcoming MS program messily, little by little as I came to terms with my diagnosis. I started with the diet, throwing away non-compliant food and using the Overcoming MS website to find delicious recipes. I joined the Overcoming MS group on Strava to help motivate me to work out more. I love the community spirit of OMSers supporting one another.  

My photography

These five pieces capture five different places that are important to me.

Wawel Castle in Krakow, Poland


This photo is of the windows of the Wawel Castle in Krakow, Poland, where I live. Autumn is my favourite season. This season in Poland is quite beautiful – the colours take their time to change, so you get this slow change of oranges and yellow shades that make the background of any photo beautiful. Krakow has some gorgeous riverside trees which reflect this season perfectly. 

Duarte 2

Sunset in Porto, Portugal

This sunset was in Porto, Portugal where I was born. This is the city where I spent many years, between studying and working and is one that I will return to. But, as with all things, I do like a challenge and a change every once in a while. The opportunity to live in Krakow came at precisely the right time for me. It was a new place, a new job, and a new adventure that has been so good to me. I don’t see this adventure in Poland wrapping up anytime soon. 

Duarte 3

Sunset from a quarry lake

This sunset from a quarry lake that I like to escape to and just be quiet when needed. I feel the benefits of regular mindfulness and meditation even though it’s one of the more challenging pillars of the Overcoming MS program for me to follow.

Duarte 4

Pieniny National Park


Pieniny National Park Babia Góra

The last two pictures are from the mountains in Poland, where the sunsets are always magical. The first is from Pieniny National Park in the southernmost part of the country near the Slovakian border. The second is a single mountain called Babia Góra, which means Witches’ Mountain. It’s the highest peak in the Carpathian Mountains.

I like the idea of the day-to-night cycle, so I try to capture time of day a lot in what I shoot.

My Instagram account is @duartevt and my website is

You can purchase e-cards through Don’t Send Me a Card featuring designs by Duarte and other OMSers. All donations benefit the Overcoming MS mission of informing, supporting and empowering people affected by MS worldwide.