Divers descend into a cenote in Mexico
It’s one thing to be a cave diver or underwater photographer—it’s quite another to be a speleologist. For those who aren’t familiar with ancient Greek, spaleology is the study of caves. And our new photographer of the week, Kay Vilchis, is crazy about caves.
Combining the multidisciplinary study of caves with photography, Kay creates powerful images of underwater caves that highlight the natural beauty chiseled from millions of years of geology. But as a speleologist, the greatest prizes are sometimes more than pictures: In 2019, Kay made headlines after discovering multi-million-year-old megalodon teeth embedded in a Mexican cenote.
Kay’s photo prowess extends past just cavernous conditions—documenting natural history throughout marine environments in Mexico and beyond.
Kay's work often highlights light rays streaming through the water
A freediver swims at the surface before a descent into the deep
Colorful soft corals frame an investigative diver in the background
Kay's work also includes megafauna, such as this great white shark
A compositionally-simple-but-beautiful image of a diver moving through a spotlight from above
Whitetip reef sharks take a respite on a ledge
An over-under image of a reef scene is equally intriguing below the waves as above, where a lighthouse punctuates the craggy cliffs
Among Kay's cave discoveries is a multi-million-year-old megalodon tooth
Rising to the surface, a freediver leaves the depths
Kay Vilchis, focused and ready for the next dive
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