2018 was a favourable year for observing Mars. Thanks to the perihelic opposition on 27th July, the distance to Mars shrunk to 58 million km. In fact, this was the closest Mars got since 2003.
Here, Mars can be seen tracing a short and compact retrograde loop in Capricornus and eastern Sagittarius from 20th April to 5th November. The red planet got as bright as mag. -2.8 in the last week of July.
This loop was very much like the one from 2003, very much a mirror image, when Mars again had a perihelic opposition in Aquarius: