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Photographer of the Week – Marco Mazza
By Matthew Sullivan, December 1, 2023 @ 07:00 AM (EST)

One of the most spectacular jellyfish images of all time? The annual sea nettle bloom in Monterey Bay, California, USA
 

Normally at DPG, our Photographers of the Week are scuba divers. But our newest featured photographer, Marco Mazza, shoots almost exclusively while freediving! In our humble opinion, this makes his already amazing imagery even more impressive. Being a talented freediver is a skill in and of itself. To be able to create fantastic underwater pictures on a single breath—that is next level.

Marco is an avid surfer, freediver, talented jade carver and “all around waterman.” Born near San Francisco, Marco still calls California home. His fascination with marine life began early, but it wasn’t until he began surfing at the age of eight that the cold, nutrient-rich waters of Northern California began to become familiar to him. The rough coastline was a sanctuary that provided Marcus a clear and positive path as he grew up. When he turned 18, he began freediving for abalone on California’s north coast. While he is known for his freediving photography, he is scuba certified. Marco’s portfolio here heavily features subject matter from the Channel Islands, to the cold waters of Monterey Bay, all the way up to the even colder waters off Vancouver Island, Canada. Everything from nudibranchs to kelp forests to arguably the best jellyfish image of all time.

Marco’s love of photography was borne out of a desire to show people the incredible subsurface ecosystems that relatively few people ever get to experience firsthand. He says, “The aim of my photography is to try to rekindle a respect for our natural world that I feel has become lost in this day and age. I hope to inspire those whose curiosity leads them into a deep fascination with the underwater world I try to capture in my images.” Well said Marco; we would agree.
 

A red fish-eating anemone in the shallows of Vancouver Island, Canada
 

A scientist takes data on urchins and kelp in Central California, USA
 

A close-up look at the teeth and lips of a one-spot fringehead, California, USA
 

An ethereal bull kelp forest, Northern California, USA
 

A green turtle enjoys a snack in the shallows, California, USA
 

A school of blue rockfish in the kelp and sun rays, California, USA
 

A freediver inspects colorful boulders in Northern California, USA
 

An iconic cold water nudibranch, the clown dorid, California, USA
 

Posing in the lava tubes off Hawaii, USA
 

A sensual curve of kelp, Channel Islands, California, USA
 

Metridium anemones, a cold water staple, coat the pilings of a pier, Vancouver Island, Canada
 

A multicolored pile of ochre sea stars, Vancouver Island, Canada
 

A small yellowfin fringehead peering out of its burrow, California, USA
 

Please do yourselves a favor and check out Marco’s fantastic website, www.marcomazzaphotography.com, and give his Instagram a follow.

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