After six years of running her business in downtown Hastings, Rachel Marthaler will be moving Rachel Marthaler Photography in mid-April to a new location. Marthaler said that she is creating a natural light studio on her property about 5 miles south of Hastings that will be open for business May 1.

"We've really appreciated the community support being in downtown Hastings and the support of the area and businesses around us, and we're looking forward to doing business still in Hastings but in a new location," Marthaler said.

Marthaler bought the building at 111 E. Second St., in 2011. The original walls and ceiling had been boarded up when they bought the building, and when they knocked the wood paneling and plaster down, they discovered stone and brick walls and a vintage ceiling. She said that it took nine months to renovate.

Marthaler said that she has really enjoyed every minute of running her business downtown. She said that she will always feel like a little piece of her is in the downtown location because of all the time and effort her and her husband put into creating the space, but she is excited for what is to come.

"I really like to use the natural light and I like the soft look, and so we've just been dreaming up what would the ideal scenario be to create the best natural light studio," Marthaler said.

With the extra space on her property in rural Hastings, it eventually became clear that it would be the perfect space for her portraits.

The new studio will feature a large natural light window. The farmhouse-style decor will feature some barnwood features, shiplap siding and a rustic elegant vibe. Marthaler said that the space will tie in well with the red barn on their property.

"(It will) fit with the look and feel of our place," she said.

Marthaler said that her downtown Hastings location has been a great place for her to grow her business, and the new natural light studio is just the next step for her.

When Marthaler decided to build a new studio on her property, Nick Fox of Spiral Brewery had called her to ask about the downtown area. Marthaler said everything sort of just fell into place almost like it was meant to be.

"We're really excited to see what happens with Spiral Brewery and see their business grow too," Marthaler said.