Catching Waves

I have always longed for the sea. As a child I spent several summer vacations at the North Sea, and I have never forgotten the wide sandy beaches, the cries of the seagulls and the noise of the waves crashing on the beach.

© Carola Bartz

© Carola Bartz

Having lived in Germany far away from any ocean for most of my life, every visit to the sea was something special – and a good reason to pull out my camera and take pictures. Images of waves, sand, seagulls, sandcastles, shells and empty crabs, sand dollars and rocks, driftwood in all sizes and shapes and, of course, sunrises and sunsets.

© Carola Bartz

© Carola Bartz

Today I live in Northern California, not even an hour away from the Pacific Ocean. I’ve come to love this ocean with all its wildness and utter unpredictability. It’s a fierce, dangerous sea, frequently underestimated with often terrible consequences. But at the same time it is incredible beautiful – it is hard to withstand its charm.

© Carola Bartz

© Carola Bartz

Whenever I go to the Pacific Ocean, I take my camera with me. You might think an ocean is always the same, but actually it changes all the time. The way the light sparkles on the water. Harbor seals diving through the waves. The moment you see a whale emerge from the water. Surfers balancing on their boards, catching waves. Small whispering waves followed by huge, noisy breakers that crash onshore powerfully.

© Carola Bartz

© Carola Bartz

It is a great place to be with camera in hand to capture these common but so special moments.


The women of f/4 Studio welcome our first guest contributor, Carola Bartz.  We made the acquaintance of Carola through Vision and Verb, a blog that featured women ‘of a certain age’ from around the globe.  A native of Germany, Carola now lives in Northern California.

Thank you, Carola, for sharing your insightful view of the California coast.

5 thoughts on “Catching Waves

  1. Ginnie

    How fun, Carola, to visit you here at f/4 studio. Here in the Netherlands we’re not as land-locked as you were while in Germany. Still, we only get to the big water a handful of times a year. I lived in California 12 years of my life (first San Diego and then Pasadena) and know the thrill of what you have beautifully described here. “I must go down to the seas again….” It always is calling, isn’t it!


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