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May 16, 2016

Beach, Please

Local photographer Gray Malin will make you lust for a vacation.

On gloomy days like today, we thank our lucky stars for photographer Gray Malin. The Dallas-born artist just debuted his first book, titled Beaches, and inside you’ll find the product of what might actually be the coolest job ever—aerial shots of the world’s most beautiful coasts.

Malin’s inspiration came from a casual photo he had taken of a pool from above.

“After 6 months of staring at this photo because it was my screen saver, the lightbulb went off,” Malin says. “So I went up in a helicopter and flew over a beach—it was really striking. The patterns of the umbrellas and sunbathers was totally enthralling.”

In the past 5 years Malin has traveled all over the world collecting images for both his website and Beaches. And while the photo subjects may be relaxed, the technique Malin goes through to get a shot is anything but.

“Basically, I am leaning out of a helicopter that is going 100 miles per hour. I can’t wear sunglasses because I need to see, so my eyes are dripping while I’m trying to adjust the light and see what I’m shooting. Your brain is on overload and your hair is whipping you in the face. But it’s such a rush of energy, it’s addictive.”

And for those of you with a bit of a perverted mind, yes, he also shoots nude beaches. (Ahem, Barcelona Nude Beach, we see you.)

“It’s so funny, because I’ll never realize it’s a nude beach until after it’s shot,” Malin says. “Every beach has fun characters, but these are the best. It’s pretty graphic but totally great.”

When he isn’t risking death for his art, Malin can be found relaxing on some of his favorite beaches (Cape Town, St. Barts). In the vacation spirit, we asked him a few beachy questions to get an idea of what sort of traveler he is:

Piña Colada or Corona? Totally a Piña Colada.

Trunks or Speedos? I’m such a swimming trunks guy.

Sunscreen or hat? Sunscreen.

Scuba or swim? Hard one. Swim.

A photo posted by 1530 Main (@1530main) on

The Details: Gray Malin’s Beaches is available at Forty Five Ten, 4510 McKinney Avenue.