South Shore Sea and Sand from the Sky

Margot Cheel, Fine Aerial Art Photographer

The South Shore can often feel crowded and developed, and sometimes when you’re stopped at a traffic light, or inside your home on a colder winter day, it’s easy to lose sight of where we actually are on Earth. Photographer and pilot Margot Cheel reminds us with her aerial fine art photography. From the sky, Cheel reveals the South Shore’s wavy coastline, bright green marshes exposed during low tide, and rivers that carve a curvy path through the land, flowing through South Shore towns long before any intersection.

Cheel has been taking aerial photographs for 18 years. On February 22, she will give a presentation on her photographs at the South Shore Science Center called “South Shore Sea and Sand from the Sky.” Cheel also recently released a children’s book titled, “What Do You See? Finding Shapes from the Sky.” The book was inspired by a child’s response to one of her photographs—he didn’t see a sandbar, he saw a teddy bear and an airplane. Throughout her book, she poses the question, “What do you see?” Like watching the clouds drift by overhead, children can pore over images of ponds and beaches, fields and farms, and let their imagination wander and wonder about the planet’s ecosystem.

Cheel’s favorite subject is the coast—the way the sand shifts and the blues of the ocean changes with the tides. She points to a few photographs, including one of the North and South Rivers meeting at the Spit; Cheel’s bird’s-eye view captures the beige stripes of sand and the cerulean and aquamarines of the water as they swirl together. It’s hard not to be captivated by Cheel’s higher perspective that reveals a breathing, moving, changing world. Moreover, her images serve as a reminder of why we all flock to the South Shore.

-Kelly Chase

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