There is something magical about living in the Yucatan. The Mayan Rivera brings something special to those who visit. Mexico is special. No matter where you go, you cannot judge a book by its cover. From the outside of the beautiful cenotes, it looks like a hole in the ground. But once you enter the beautiful cenote of Suytun, it takes your heart. The feeling you get when you step into the magical place of Nomade in Tulum, the smell of the Copal, it hits you. And you can feel your soul being fed.
One morning as I was working in Tulum Art Club, I saw a stray dog walk into the cafe. After talking to a few people, I learned the dog had an owner but we did not know who. I took the liberty to make a post on Facebook in hopes of finding her owner, and then was directed to another young woman sitting at a table working alone who did the same thing.
That woman was Estefanía Peña Dávalos. Although she doesn’t live in Tulum, her genuine approach to life and helping a stray dog find its home showed me her heart and her kindness. A friend. As we began to speak (me in broken Spanish) she tells me that she’s a designer of swimsuits here in Mexico. She lives in Mexico City and works with Mexican artisans throughout the country, spending time learning about their use of looms, the colors they use, and their true craft. As she began to show me the beautiful bikinis that she designs, I knew at that moment I wanted to capture them. The love she has in her art, the love put into the creation of each stitch, it is truly incredible. She aims to create unique design pieces, while fostering cultural heritage and artisanal work in Mexico. Through her products she encourages fair trade.
There’s something very special about my friend. She’s not only an incredible artist, but very genuine. Something I see that rings throughout Mexicans. This is the love and happiness that I admire for now calling this country my home.
If you’d like to see more, check out her Instagram (@mareabonitamx) and see her beautiful work or visit mareabonita.com.
Una mañana, mientras trabajaba en Tulum Art Club, vi a un perro callejero entrar al café. Después de hablar con algunas personas, supe que el perro tenía un dueño, pero no sabíamos quién. Me tomé la libertad de hacer una publicación en Facebook con la esperanza de encontrar a su dueño, y luego fui dirigida a otra mujer joven sentada en una mesa que trabajaba sola y que hacía lo mismo.
Esa mujer era Estefanía Peña Dávalos. Aunque ella no vive en Tulum, su enfoque genuino de la vida y ayudar a un perro callejero a encontrar su hogar me mostró su corazón y amabilidad. Una nueva amiga. Cuando comenzamos a hablar (yo tratando de hablar en español) ella me dijo que es diseñadora de trajes de baño, aquí en México. Estefania vive en la Ciudad de México y trabaja con artesanos mexicanos en todo el país, pasando tiempo aprendiendo sobre el uso de los telares, los colores que usan y su verdadera artesanía.
Cuando comenzó a mostrarme los hermosos bikinis que diseña, supe en ese momento que quería capturarlos. El amor que tiene en su arte, el amor puesto en la creación de cada puntada, es realmente increíble. Su objetivo es crear piezas de diseño únicas, mientras fomenta el patrimonio cultural y el trabajo artesanal en México. A través de sus productos ella fomenta el comercio justo.
Hay algo muy especial acerca de mi amiga. Ella no es solo una artista increíble, sino muy genuina. Algo que veo que suena en todos los mexicanos. Este es el amor y la felicidad que admiro por llamar a este país mi hogar.
Si desea ver más, consulte su Instagram (@mareabonitamx) y vea su hermoso trabajo o visite mareabonita.com.
Model: Boyana Millovic @yanayogatulum
Amber and Daniel have been traveling the world together for years. Living in Holland, they decided to take their yearly vacation to spend time in the Mayan Riviera.
As I was taking my daily breakfast at Coco Tulum Hacienda, I noticed the love they shared with one another. Spending time together, loving each other, and appreciating their existence. I though to myself ‘they must be on a honeymoon.’ But no.
It took a lot for me to approach them and ask to photograph them. I always get nervous when asking strangers to take their photos but I’m so thankful that I did.
We met in Punta Esmeralda and spent a couple of hours together, dodging the sargasso. :)
Mina and Fernando. There aren’t words to describe their love. I first met them here in Tulum and we spent the day together swimming in Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido. It was such a joy to listen to their beautiful love story. One that is definitely for the books.
Listening to Fernando tell it, with passion, brings such a smile to my face as I write this.
They were both vacationing in Greece and staying in a hostel. “I looked and saw the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen,” Fernando says, as he describes the first time he sees his beautiful wife.
Although their first meeting was short, that would not stop Fernando from connecting with Mina again. The chase. Such a love story. “I looked for every single Mina in Morocco I could find on Facebook with no luck. But thankfully I became friends with one of her friends and I was able to connect with her. After spending time talking on Facebook, I asked her to send a photo of her beautiful eyes. To which she responds ‘Why don’t you come here to LA to see them.’ So I moved to LA, haha!”
The story is of course much longer, but they then decided after being together for a while, to take their lives to Tulum. Here they have decided to start a business in development together and are a true gem of the community. I’m truly thankful to call them friends.
Taking a trip back to one of my favorite countries, it was an incredible time to see the Muckross Abbey this summer, especially to have the opportunity to do a beautiful bridal shoot.
I never thought I would have the opportunity to travel to Iceland, but my dreams of seeing the beautiful Black Beach came true.
I am so thankful to have met Ors and Mariana (@vyvinyasayoga). I’ve had the opportunity to photograph yoga instructors before, but watching them together.. especially being able to rely on the strength of one another on a paddleboard in a cenote was incredible. Yoga teaches us to trust ourselves. Acroyoga teaches you to trust yourself an your partner. I believe that with love, this makes it even better. Ors and Mariana are yoga educators located here in Tulum. If you’re interested in following their story or learning from them, please visit their Facebook page below:
It’s rare when someone comes into your life that you instantly feel like they’re family. Ester first messaged me on Facebook from Girls Love Travel and asked me about doing a session with her and her husband, Scott.
Their love story was also one for the books. Meeting in Sicily, randomly, and unfolding throughout their lives, sending them all over the world.. traveling together. That’s where I want to be in life. We all search for the kind of love they have. I’m so thankful to have spent two days with them at Five Azuls Resort in Playa del Carmen and I’m so happy to now call them friends.