An Evening at the Beach!

For six years I lived across the street from the beach, for the last dozen or so I am about a twenty minute drive away. One might think they’d get tired of the beach after so much exposure to it, but no! I always enjoy my visits to that beautiful, sandy wonderland. The other evening I made the trip so I could clear my head and enjoy the sunset.

The Crystal Coast

The region of the North Carolina Coast where I live is known as the “Crystal Coast.” It is also frequently referred to as “the Southern Outer Banks.” Essentially, it is the entirety of Carteret County from the eastern edge at Cedar Island to the western extreme at Emerald Isle and Cape Carteret, then inland to the Craven and Jones county lines. There is something like 100 miles of coastline along the Crystal Coast. It encompasses both ocean and sound side areas. Oceanic beaches can be found along the barrier islands; Bogue Banks, Shackleford Banks and Core Banks. Seaside communities include Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path, Indian Beach and Emerald Isle. The county is home to one of the NC State Aquariums, the Cape Lookout National Seashore, Fort Macon State Park, Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge, the North Carolina Maritime Museum, and a significant portion of the Croatan National Forest. The primary industries are commercial fishing and tourism. Simply put, there is a lot of history and nature to be enjoyed here.

The Evening’s Destination

On this particular March evening I decided to visit the area near the Oceanana Fishing Pier and Pierhouse Restaurant. The pier wouldn’t open for fishing for another week or two, so I knew the are wouldn’t be too crowded. As I pulled into the near empty parking lot a few surfers were loading up to head home. A bit earlier and I might have been able to capture a few surfing images. However, my timing was just a bit off. The surf looked extremely rough. I didn’t blame them for calling it a day.

Unquestionably most of these sea-side piers look a lot alike. There are only so many angles and views one can find when photographing them. As such I turned my attention to finding other interesting beach scenes. While I missed the surfers I was lucky enough to find a young man using a skimboard along the edge of the ocean. I also found some interesting scenes that incorporated some sand fencing. Of course I could resist a shot or two of the pier. While such shots may be a bit cliche, the environment around the is constantly changing.

The Photography

All of the following images were captured using my Canon 7D MarkII DSLR camera body and Tokina AT-X Pro 20-25mm wide angle zoom lens. For some shots I used one or two neutral density filters to achieve a longer exposure time. The camera was mounted on an Innorel carbon fiber tripod and I used a two-second delayed release to eliminate camera shake. Post processing included Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop. I also utilized the Nik Collection by DxO and the Pro Panel editing tools.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoyed the article. May I ask you a question? Do you think you’d get tired of the beach if you lived nearby?

A young man enjoys a rare, warm March evening with a boogie board along Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. The wind was strong and surf too rough for surfing but the waves rollin up onshore were perfect for skimming. The warm colors of the setting sun are reflected off the wet sand. The scene made me think of the quest for the endless summer along the Crystal Coast.
While servinig a practical purpose there is something romantic and beachy about scenes like this. These three sand fences were place to encourage the growth of dunes at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Over time the sands will build up around and over these structures cerating a buffer between the ocean’s fury and the community. Fences like these can also be used to keep pathways open, allowing foot traffic to reach the shore.
The view beneath the Oceanana Fishing Pier at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina on March 7, 2022. Rough seas and pretty sunset colors made for an interesting scene. The structure is reflected on the wet sand and water surface. A band of orange light decorates the winter sky.. This location is popular wth both fishermen and surfers. It is located along the Crystal Coast in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.
There is something attractive to me about sand fences on the beach. Perhaps it’s their repetitive nature or nearly universal presence on beaches everywhere. I simply find them interesting, photographic. In this scene two fences are shown together. In the distance another one can be seen atop a sand dune. The sand building up around, between and in front of these slatted wooden barriers display interesting patterns created by the wind. Vegetation grows along the dune ridge, providing stabilization to these natural mounds of sand. Overhead the clouds are lent a dramtic look by the setting sun. I chose to present this landscape in balck and white to focus enphasis on the patterns and tones of the scene. The choice adds a touch of nostalgia to the image. At least it does in my mind. This image was captured near the Oceanana Fishing Pier and Restaurant at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. It is an ever changing, dynamic environment along the sea shore. The wind and waves scupting and resculpting the dunes again and again. This is simply a snapshot of a moment in the continuous cycle along the Crystal Coast.

This entry was posted in General Photography, History & Landmarks, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Uncategorized.


  1. Steven Heap March 10, 2022 at 1:03 pm #

    I love the sand fences although I think I prefer the color version. I’ve never lived very close to the sea except for a year or so in my teens, but there is a real attraction to just watching the waves! I don’t think I would ever get tired of that!

  2. Katrina Gunn March 10, 2022 at 1:44 pm #

    You captured some gorgeous color, especially in the first photo. Catching the figure in silhouette just sets the scene beautifully.

  3. Alexios Ntounas March 12, 2022 at 7:28 am #

    I consider myself lucky to be living in a city with a beautiful seafront towards the west. I love walking next to the sea whenever I feel I want to. It helps me clear my mind as you say. Beautiful photos by the way!

  4. Louis Dallara March 12, 2022 at 6:48 pm #

    WOW, great capture of some of my many favorite places, the beach. The lightening just make me feel good.

  5. Dwight Roth March 15, 2022 at 8:34 am #

    Beautiful shots! We used to love camping at the Travel-n-park at Emrald Isle many years ago when our kids were little!

  6. Deb Beausoleil March 17, 2022 at 6:08 pm #

    Beautiful images! I, too, prefer the sand fence image in color.

    I would never get tired of the beach of I lived nearby. For most of my life, I lived within 10 miles of a Great Lake, and I never got tired of it, not ever.

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