A green turtle comes up for air as the sun sets on another perfect day in paradise
Our latest feature takes us to the tropical blue waters of the Caribbean to showcase the work of professional underwater photographer and dive instructor David Gallardo. The son of a commercial diver, David was born in Spain and soon followed in his father’s footsteps, learning to scuba dive when he was just seven years old. The ocean has always been a big part of his life. He spent a lot of his younger years freediving, before his passion for the ocean led him to volunteer at a dive school as a teenager. This led to David becoming a dive instructor in 1998, and then setting off to travel the world in search of new underwater adventures.
In May 1999, he moved to the Turks and Caicos Islands, where he worked for a few local dive shops and liveaboards. In 2002, he got his first job as an underwater photographer working for famed dive travel pioneer Peter Hughes, where he had the opportunity to photograph the migration of the humpback whales in the Silver Bank, Dominican Republic.
Just a year later, David moved back to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, to work for a land-based photography company, Brilliant Studios, doing commercial shoots, destination weddings and family photography. However, underwater photography was still his passion, and he continued to dive as often as possible. After 20 years of being a photographer in Turks and Caicos, David, and his business partner Anita Marcus, opened the island’s first fine art photography gallery. On display and available for purchase at the gallery are some of their favorite landscape and underwater images from in and around the islands.
Having spent so many years taking pictures in paradise, it is hardly surprising that David has managed to put together an awesome portfolio of images for this feature. Some of the islands’ most iconic marine life is on display, including turtles, dolphins and eagle rays, as well as a few select shots from other dive trips and his commercial shoots.
Notably, the collection features a number of well-executed split shots, one of David’s favorite techniques. He uses this style of photography to capture images of wildlife but also brides in wedding dresses and explorers on horseback! Whatever the subject, David remains the most active underwater photographer in Turks and Caicos, and I’m sure you’ll agree he is doing a fine job of showcasing the islands and their greatest asset, the clear, warm water of the Caribbean.
A great barracuda displays its impressive teeth on a reef in the Turks and Caicos Islands
Beauty and the beast: A parasite takes a ride on a reef fish, Turks and Caicos Islands
The impressive cephalofoil of a great hammerhead, Bimini, Bahamas
A baby dolphin at the surface, Turks and Caicos Islands
Trash the dress in the clear, shallow water of the Turks and Caicos Islands
A spotted eagle ray display, Turks and Caicos Islands
A turtle hides among the coral, Turks and Caicos Islands
The best way to enter the water—from the back of a horse! Turks and Caicos Islands
A reptilian resident of the Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
A large bottlenose dolphin saying “Hello,” Turks and Caicos Islands
A green turtle poses for another perfect over-under, Turks and Caicos Islands
David in the shallow tropical waters of Turks and Caicos
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