Oysters are a familiar sight in the Lowcountry, both on dinner plates and in area waters. But without careful conservation, that won’t always be the case. A local environmental program is hoping to replenish these important natural filters even as local diners slurp more and more of them out of their shells.

Whether you’re planning a wedding in the Lowcountry now, dreaming about one someday or just watching a friend obsess over hers, we're here to help. With gorgeous surroundings and luxurious accommodations, Hilton Head and Bluffton offer world-class wedding experiences. Many talented wedding professionals also work in the Lowcountry.

Our Prince of Scribes“Our Prince of Scribes”

EDITED BY NICOLE SEITZ AND JONATHAN HAUPT

Pat Conroy had a profound impact on the literary world. His work has inspired countless writers, and his generous spirit encouraged many to follow in his footsteps. Their appreciation for his support can be seen in a new collection of essays titled “Our Prince of Scribes.”

BLUFFTON EDUCATOR NAMED TEACHER OF THE YEAR

For Karen McKenzie, being named Teacher of the Year for 2018-19 by the Beaufort County School District is a dream come true.

“I have known since I was 3 years old that I wanted to teach,” she said. “I was the youngest of a lot of children and I tried to teach all the neighborhood dogs and cats. That didn’t go very well. I was thrilled when my neighbors had a child I could teach. I always knew this was what I was meant to do, and I’ve never thought I made a mistake.”

Lowcountry families have many wonderful options for their children's education. Experienced administrators, passionate teachers and motivated peers make the difference for students. In this section we celebrate high quality centers of learning in bluffton and on Hilton Head Island.

Exercise is an essential part of healthy living and self-care. If your goals for the new year include finding a new workout, consider these easy places for beginners to get started.

LOWCOUNTRY THRIFT STORES OFFER GREAT FINDS AND GREAT ADVENTURES

Thrifting is like a treasure hunt. As we explore thrift shops’ often eclectic offerings, it’s easy to get lost in a maze of our own curiosity. You enter the shop on the hunt for one thing — say, a used set of golf clubs — and leave with something else entirely — maybe a binder of vintage stamps. Without thrift stores, shopping would be linear, curated, sterile. Because, let’s face it, we don’t always know what we want, really. It might surprise you to find that you actually look great in that vintage 1970s print dress you found on an impulsive thrifting adventure. Maybe a rainy afternoon spent browsing makes you realize you’re fascinated by back issues of Vogue.

WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR BRAIN POWER THIS YEAR

The new year is a time for starting over, for setting new goals and for resolving to be better humans. Some of us decide to start exercising or to stop smoking. Some resolve to save money. Others decide to sharpen their minds.

Here are a few ideas to get your brain in gear.

Whether you’re hoping 2019 will be the year that you improve your fitness, get organized, minimize stress or track your finances, your devices can help you — you just need the right apps.

Lowcountry locals have recommended nine apps they think you need in the new year: