Smith Island, Maryland - April 2009

I am organizing photographs this morning from my first trips to Smith Island in 2009 for my forthcoming book 'Island Life'.

I was first drawn to the island to photograph the nesting colony of Brown Pelicans in late April of 2009. At the time this was the northernmost nesting colony of Pelicans on the east coast. I packed my kayak, camping gear and cameras onto the ferry from Crisfield to Tylerton. My plan was to spend the night in the marsh, once I found the pelicans, to have easy access to photograph the colony with both sunset and sunrise light.

I was out on the island for less than 24 hours, but it was clear that I needed to come back. This one trip, has inspired me to come back dozens of times in the last nine years to photograph not only wildlife, but the culture that has been defined by the waters of the Chesapeake.