Growing up in a beach town on Long Island, the ocean was a strong force in my life from the beginning. My family came to New York from Puerto Rico, and my grandfather would tell me stories of our pirate ancestors sailing to the Caribbean from the Old World. Once I was old enough to set off on my own, surfing and photography became my means of connection, of communication with the distant shores where my family came from. From the cold, snowy waves of the northeast to the vibrant life of the Caribbean. My curiosity of what lies beneath the surface of the waves that I grew up surfing drove me to pursue marine biology research in college, which allowed me to travel and run my own project on coral reef architecture. Using photographic methods, I was able to construct 3D models of reefs to assess their health and relationship to inhabiting marine life, which are under such threat today as our climate warms and oceans acidify. My art work combines my perspective as a surfer, a scientist, an environmentalist and a New Yorker as I focus on the surface of our oceans in relation to what lies underneath. Texture, color, and abstraction help me create portraits of our disappearing coastline. I am interested in full immersion, in capturing and conveying the unnoticed sublime yet intimate moments that come from a deep connection to the waves.

Roland Mounier