Vestiges of 1974 Marathon

This body of work contains photographs of Marathon, Florida Keys made in 2011 -2013. My intent was to capture what I recall Marathon looking and feeling like in 1974 when I first traveled there. Things have changed so slowly that I only recently recognize that much of what makes the Keys special is disappearing. As a result, there are many parts of old Marathon that cannot be photographed today. They are either completely gone, transformed into something new, or have newly restricted access. Although this is inevitable everywhere, the impact is especially great in this small and fragile environment called The Keys. (Narrative continues below photographs …)

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Vestiges of 1974 Marathon

This body of work contains images of Marathon, Florida Keys made in 2011 -2013. My intent was to capture what I recall Marathon looking and feeling like in 1974 when I first traveled there. Things have changed so slowly that I only recently recognize that much of what makes the Keys special is disappearing. As a result, there are many parts of old Marathon that cannot be photographed today. They are either completely gone, transformed into something new, or have newly restricted access. Although this is inevitable everywhere, the impact is especially great in this small and fragile environment called The Keys.

 Gone now is the bridge that connects 20th Street to Boot Key. Built in 1960, it closed to motorized traffic in 2008. It was later shut down to even foot traffic for safety reasons and lack of funds for repair. Sadly, also gone is the Dive Site. This was my favorite transport to the reef and deep water wrecks. It also served as the certification school for several friends who wished to learn SCUBA diving. It was a marvelous shop, with a salt water pool for training that was later transformed into a shark tank.

 Some old haunts exist mostly unchanged. One can only guess how long they can survive as people are drawn to more upscale, hip locals.

 The photographs were all taken either before sunrise or after sunset. These are the times of day when the breezes are a little cooler and the humidity edges up. Traffic is sparse and travels at a slower pace. Morning images remind me of heading to the dive shop and loading gear on the boat, heading out just after sunrise on a long trip for a deepwater dive.

Evenings are all about food and music, always casual, always excellent. Dark skies and bright constellations dominate the sky. Slowly making our way home again, we open the windows and relax to the salt air and the sound of palm fronds waving in the breeze. Great sleeping weather. Sunset to civil twilight (sun is 6 degrees below the horizon) provides wonderful, warm light and is a premier time for shore walking and making photographs.

This series is available in book form. Contact me for details.

Jon self portrait 300

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