Surf Life Maui
For my series Surf Life Maui, I explore contemporary island culture formed around the ancient water sport through photo candids and portraits. The images were predominantly made at world-renowned North Shore beaches in my neighborhood, all during 2021 and 2022. These days on Maui, I find contemporary ritual in the popular activity and lifestyle. Among a diverse tribe of surf-lovers, the sport spawns an easy camaraderie — for instance, the inclination to congregate, “talk story”, and celebrate at dusk in beach parking lots.
Maui parking lots and beaches attracted me during the pandemic when I felt isolated. It was always refreshing to go outdoors, be around other people, recognize neighbors, and relax into the patterns, sounds, smells, and seemingly-infinite horizon of water. Photography became a means of entry into the overall ambience and social scene. I met a surfer for pre-sunrise “dawn patrol.” I went camping with two surfers. During the pandemic, the beaches were the only places on the island where it was legal to be in public without a mask.
I now understand the willingness of some lifestyle enthusiasts to forego creature comforts in devotion to the wild.
As a photographer in general, and in the making of this series, specifically, I value empathy, inclusion, connection, collaboration, and trust. I find joy in beautiful liminal light and in the dance of anticipating a key gesture. I am grateful in being invited into the intimacy between people and the land, sea, and sky of Maui.