The Riviera Maya in Mexico hosts the world’s largest underground river systems, filled with crystal clear water and amazing formations.
The entry points to these cave systems are known as cenotes, and allow you to pass from the jungle to a magical underwater world that is illuminated only by the few sun rays that penetrate through the sinkhole or the lights that you bring with you.
And while there’s almost no life to shoot in them, they offer a great variety of light effects, along with halls and formations that can compete with the best gothic cathedrals
The gin-clear freshwater provides some of the best visibility in the world, independent of the weather outside and year-round. Even operating within cavern diving restrictions, there is access to 25 different cenotes, offering an amazing variety of scenery. If you venture into cave diving, you will access a never-ending tunnel system with truly amazing intact formations.
If you enjoy wide angle photography and playing with light, these are some of the easiest, most accessible, and rewarding photo dives you can do, although they will push your low light photography skills.
Although I have been a diver for many years, I only started taking pictures underwater five years ago, after my first dive in the cenotes. I was amazed by the magical scenes and mix of emotions those caves generated in me and was disappointed by my lack of ability to capture them with my Go Pro. That lead to several trips and continuous experimentation with techniques to capture the stunning beauty of that environment.
I hope this collection of images will inspire YOU to discover that magical underworld.
The images are shot with a Sony a7rIII and a Sony 28mm lens in a Nauticam housing with a WWL-1 wet lens, using natural light close to the cenotes or as much light you can bring inside the caves. Thanks for the patience of my dive buddies especially the team from CenoteXperience
You can see some more work from Martin on Instagram or on his webpage.