I see people ask all the time, "I would like to do both visual AND astrophotography - and my budget is limited. What should I get?" 9 times out of 10, the response is either "Get a bigger budget" (not always possible) or "Spend ALL your money on the mount." Here's an alternative solution that checks nearly every box for doing both - without breaking the bank.
Did you know it is possible to look towards the center of our galaxy, as well as the complete opposite direction, out towards the outer arms of the Milky Way, looking towards the rest of the cosmos? It's true. And you don't need a telescope to do it - just a bit of knowledge of where each point is located in the sky, so you can look that way.
It may seem a little hyperbolic to say it is the best time to see Mars until 2035 - but it's true! In two years - well, about 26 months - we will get another good look at Mars when we are closest to it again.