In 2014, Thomas was highly honored for three of his images by the Smithsonian Institute. The Smithsonian held the monumental competition Wilderness Forever, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The act designated protected wilderness areas so that we may enjoy them for generations. Thomas's masterpieces, “Mystic Falls” and “The Narrows,” received the prestigious awards of 1st place for Scenic Landscape and Most Inspirational Moment respectively and were selected to be exhibited in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Both photographs are now held in the Smithsonian’s permanent collection. Thomas's “Metlako” also received an honorable mention.