Leaving Cape Hatteras was tough but getting up for sunrise was just as hard. Still the thought of capturing this magnificent lighthouse early in the morning was very motivating. I was the only one there until very early risers began showing up a little later. By then, the sun was up and really the early morning light had faded.

The marshes around the lighthouse and on the beaches of this part of North Carolina are very wild and protected. Being on these islands for a few days was like stepping onto ground in another country. They, especially the low islands of the Outer Banks, feel disconnected from the grid of the usual grind of the country.

I caught sight of several pathways through the dense dunes surrounding the lighthouse and followed one to a place where others had photographed this awe-inspiring structure. Notice my long shadow in this photo.