a NAS is a great option for in home storage, and having an offsite backup, (not in the cloud) is also recommended but there is nothing wrong with the cloud as a 3rd backup.
depending on what camera you shoot with, and if you shoot in JPEG, free google photos may be a good option for you. However if you do continue with your photography, and start to learn more, produce better images, and want to do more, and have full raw files, or even true HQ jpegs, google photos isn’t going to cut it, and you may regret going the free route. a great saying in life is “you get what you pay for” and free is the bottom of the barrel. Storage is constantly getting cheaper, but cloud storage is still not really an option for any serious photographer, and a lot of companies that you pay for “unlimited storage” or “all the storage you need” have limits on photographers using their cloud storage for large library backups. that’s why a NAS is the best option, with a secondary backup store offsite, say in a lockbox at a post office or bank.
again you could always get yourself a google photos account to store some decent quality jpegs as a “just in case” option” but I would not suggest that to store your main library.
another thing to think about is the bandwidth limitation google will place on large uploads or downloads, which will take quite a bit of time.
portable hard drives are a cheap option to get you started out and keeping the highest quality of your files as you can, until you decide to make the leap, 4tb of storage is around $120 and will last you long enough to make a decision.
you also cannot depend on your photos always being on google, as a lot of people depended on myspace years ago to host their music, and myspace lost it all. at any given time google could decide to do away with the google photos, or charge for storage space, which would mean you are stuck downloading all of your photos onto at home storage systems.
the only other option beside a NAS I could suggest that would actually be a viable storage option in the cloud would be Photoshelter. you can use it to create a site to display your images and have customer galleries and sell prints, and you can also store raw files on there as well. its a little bit on the pricy side, but very much worth it if cloud storage is what you are set on. just beware, upload times are not quick, as again, all sites will limit upload speeds to users.