In December 2015 I had reached that pinnacle moment in life where you think, ‘this is where life starts’. This is where I enter the working world, showcase my talents, gain notoriety for my craft, and fulfill a sense of purpose in life.

I was a recent graduate photographer and had just started my first real job. I should have been elated. But the year leading up to this point had not been a positive one.  After spending all summer working on my final degree project, I found myself already knee deep inside the working world without really reflecting on if this is where I wanted to be, and what I wanted to do with my future – with my life. So I jumped.

I jumped at the chance of a little vacation. My partner in crime and I decided to spend four days exploring the region of Aquitaine in the south western coast of France. I felt the need to escape from home,  to connect with nature,  and spend time on me. And I was going to do so in the best way I knew how: documenting my life through the lens of my camera.

The journey alone was worth so much to me, it wouldn’t have mattered if we didn’t even reached our planned destination. A drive that would normally last 6 hours from Barcelona turned into a much longer journey due to the fog and climate conditions. Upon entering France, a dense mist accompanied us all the way to Biscarrosse (our destination) and forced us to stop along the way. I welcomed the pauses. Relished in the time it allowed me to take photos, and for the first time in what felt like forever, was actually present in the moment, in the space, in the quiet of the fog. It was the perfect time for reflection.

The gradual evolution of the landscapes of Biscarrosse welcomed us into the town. Nature reflected life as we made a smooth and seductive transition from journey to destination. The sand was beginning to pile up inside the Atlantic forests reminding me that all things have a life and a purpose of their own, and that this purpose is in a constant state of change. From this moment on I felt completely content with a deep sense of knowing that I was exactly where I needed to be.

We hadn’t planned anything out properly, which ended up being our perfect plan. We eased our way into a slow and reflective way of life. We woke up every morning as the sun came up and walked along the beach accompanied only by the birds and the distant silhouettes of people. Having completely forgotten what time it was, I found myself enjoying the outdoors and the landscapes, feeling relaxed like I hadn’t felt in a long time.

The soundtrack of this trip could be described as the sound of the waves breaking against the coast and the singing of the birds in the early morning. Being accustomed like I am to the Mediterranean Sea, the sights that the Atlantic Ocean and its braveness has to offer, made me feel very small and insignificant.

The days passed between long walks across the beach and discovering new territories. One day, we decided to spend the journey walking across the Dune du Pyla, from early morning until the sun came down. That’s where the project Minimal Dunes was conceived. It emerged from the personal need to show, through a minimalistic point of view, the different shapes, colors, shadows and dimension of this magnificent Dune.

I was fascinated by the different shapes and forms that were created on the sand as the hours passed, as well as the different tones and contrasts between the color of the sand and the sky. Every hour, every minute even, that passed seemed to bring a transformation with it. You could spend an entire day amongst the dunes and never see the same formations. I was entranced by this ever changing landscape and wanted to capture the essence of it. As with all my wanderings through nature, there was a lesson to be learned. Nothing is forever, everything is changing. In fact, the only constant in this life is change.

We spent hours and hours in the Dune du Pyla, walking along the sand and contemplating the beauty of the landscape that we had in front of her eyes. I was impressed by the evolution of the shapes and shadows of the Dune in terms of lighting and I was captivated by the immensity of the landscape in contrast to how small the human silhouettes appeared to be in the distance.

Already astonished by the beauty of Aquitaine, we decided to take a different perspective of the shapes of the dune, the sand paths and the Atlantic Ocean from the sky. We met a welcoming pilot and took to the sky. The views were incredible, as we had imagined, particularly as we approached sunset. The changing light cast a charming glimmer across the dunes, a warmth and calmness that I often reflect upon to this day.

Though short, our trip to Aquitaine was highly impactful. It was a good reminder to make time for exploration, nature, and self reflection. I love travelling for this reason, there really is no better way to remove yourself from day to day stresses. And it is as easy as jumping in a car and driving a few hours in any given direction, to see what adventure you might stumble upon. The magic of traveling for me lies in discovering beauty in the most unexpected locations.


Anna Garcia (annadosenes)