God, I love my island. Some people might take issue with the possessive “my island” but not only have I made Guam my home for the last six years, I’ve invested in the community through my secular work, volunteer service, and friendships. I’ve made it my life’s work to promote Guam because I have been genuinely taken by its uniqueness and beauty.
You’ll see Exhibit A below: Gun Beach.
It was a typical evening on the beach in that it was steamy and sparsely populated; it was atypical in that the surf was higher than I’ve ever seen it. My Guam-born-and-bred photographer agreed. A handful of kids and adults screamed with delight as the massive waves rocked them back and forth between the rock cliff and the reef. It was like a wave pool at an amusement park. The bridge we hoped to shoot on was completely washed away! The sun dipped low in the sky and a golden mist spread out across the water. It was the most ethereal sight I’ve seen on this island!
This photoshoot was exhilarating but a bit scary. My photog and I got completely soaked as we tempted the waves shot after shot. His camera was only an arm’s breadth away from ruin! The water was no longer a clear turquoise, but a foamy gray and I pretended not to notice when a chunk of wood slammed into my shins. Our childish play was eventually interrupted by a hotel security guard who roped off the beach and sternly waved us away from the surf.
My only regret is that I didn’t film that evening. Still, I’m incredibly grateful to have witnessed such a beautiful natural event. It’s moments like these that make Guam feel new and undiscovered. Leave it to nature to keep surprising and inspiring me creatively.
Photography by Justin Baldovino