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I arrived at the Dwesa nature reserve in December of 2010 for a 6 day stay with the family. The first afternoon scout didn't reveal much so I wasn't feeling very optimistic about sunrise. It was 4 days before summer solstice so catching sunrise meant getting up at 3-4am. The next morning I awoke to the demonic sound of my phone’s alarm clock, still fast asleep and tired from the previous day’s long drive. I sat up, opened the tent door and peering towards the sea through the branches of a wild fig I saw mushrooming cumulonimbus clouds with a pink pre-dawn glow. All of a sudden I was wide awake. In true wild coast style I required no more dressing than some shorts and a t-shirt and I was off to the river mouth. I didn’t exactly know what I was going to shoot, I just knew there was some rock shelves to the left of the mouth that I could work with. What I stumbled upon was absolutely awe-inspiring. Stretching out for some 500 meters lay what looked like an ancient Venetian piazza of black marble tiles carved by some godly Xhosa mason. As if some tiles had been stolen, there were shallow depressions of every shape and size strewn about and every single corner on every rock was a perfect 90 degrees. Some were filled with water and looked like water ponds or baths set in the rock. Here or there was a ‘stolen tile’ lying on the floor and where the surf had broken away at the rock shelf it looked like a series of marble cascades in some modern water feature. It felt like I was walking on the streets of a civilization long lost to the waters of the Indian Ocean.

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