Capturing the Beauty of Nahant

Waves trickling through polished pebbles before Egg Rock. Nahant, MA, 2012.

Today we have a special guest blog post from my fellow grad student in the Vollmer lab, Chris Marks, who is also a talented photographer. I asked Chris to share some of his shots from around Nahant, because… well, as you can see, they are amazing. I highly recommend that you check out more of Chris’ Portraits of Nahant at

A foggy evening renders the sky and water the same shade of blue. Nahant, MA, 2012.

Recording the world around us in a less scientific way

by Christopher Marks

Acorn barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides) and rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) during an East Point sunset. Nahant, MA, 2012.

As graduate students, we all-too-often forget to stop and enjoy our surroundings.  We get so caught up in our exciting, cutting-edge research that we don’t look up from our computers or lab benches.  We want to hurry up and finish our degrees so we can get out in the real world and start working before we get too old and have to retire!   Whether it is our advisor getting after us to finish this analysis or write that manuscript, a purely internally driven motivation to accomplish the same tasks, or (more likely) a combination of both, we sometimes work too hard and take things too seriously.

Oncoming waves flood a calm tide pool in front of a tepid sea. Sunset in Nahant, MA, 2012.

The Marine Science Center is situated along the entire southeastern point of Nahant, MA.  This tiny tombolo – an island connected to the mainland by a sandbar – has rocky shores, beautiful sunsets, and a wealth of flora and fauna.  I started capturing portraits of Nahant to show off the beauty that surrounds us every day.  While awesome and highly recommended, you don’t have to travel to exotic locations at the far ends of planet Earth to find something interesting.  Fascinating subjects may be right behind you, or beneath you, or even above you.  Even the organisms we study at the lab can be attractive.  Forcing myself to view our scientific community through a photographer’s eyes has been challenging, but it has vivified (I would like to thank the internet for such a great word) my creative side and given me an even greater appreciation for the grandeur that surrounds us every day while we work tirelessly on our degrees.  From barnacles and seaweed to wave-polished pebbles.  From an idyllic tide pool to a foggy pier.  Nearby Mother Nature will serve as my creative canvas… and a break from my computer.


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