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Reflections on - and in - the Oregon Coast: photo essay of the surreal

Published 06/22/22 at 5:35 PM PST
Story and photos by Andre' GW Hagestedt

Reflections on - and in - the Oregon Coast: photo essay of the surreal

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(Oregon Coast) – Beaches are often at their best in reflective moods. And no, that doesn't always mean some quiet contemplation as you wander the Oregon coast, although there's definitely no disputing that replenishing quality of a tideline stroll.

Often more striking is that glassy surface the beach can acquire, creating a magical, even surreal moment when the sky, sand and sea meet in a seamless manner. The beach itself holds the very image of the sky, creating a dreamlike scene that is both exquisite and cause for your head to whirl a bit. Then there's that really awe-inspiring, sudden sensation that maybe, just maybe, you're walking out into the sky.

Besides creating this sense of an alternate universe, it's a photographer's dream. If you've evern been behind the camera you've felt it: an overpowering need to immediately start clicking at away at lightning speed.

Case in point, above: in Seaside, where the oh-so delicious secret of the area is the fact that northern Seaside has the most unbroken sand dollars along the Oregon coast. Pair that with the stunning visage of the sky reflected in the wet sand and you've just snagged the money shot. Hotels in Seaside - Where to eat - Seaside Maps and Virtual Tours

Here, near Cannon Beach, Arcadia State Park does something similar, although this time it's the rocky structures of the family favorite spot that have a double image. Hotels in Cannon Beach - Where to eat - Cannon Beach Maps and Virtual Tours

Oceanside – near Tillamook – shows off this striking sight at times. The large pools of water are from unusually high sand levels that literally push the tide out farther than usual, but they also collect large chunks of sea water for long periods of time. They allow what's above to show below.


Between Cannon Beach and Manzanita sits the very clandestine spot called Falcon Cove, sometimes called “Magic Rocks Beach” because of the rattling noises the tide makes on the large stones. Here, during one engaging spring day, a massive pool of water tells you what the last rays of the sun look like in the sky above. Hotels in Cannon Beach - Where to eat - Cannon Beach Maps and Virtual Tours

Near Waldport, Governor Patterson State Park has also been the recipient of major high sand levels at times, resulting in this wowing wet chunk of sand that let the sun shine back at you – from the ground. Hotels in Waldport - Where to eat - Waldport, Seal Rock Maps and Virtual Tours

Manzanita is always one of the most interesting and relaxing areas to poke around, and spring creates the damp strand that made this amazing, surreal sight. Spring clouds are typically the most dramatic that time of year, adding to the spectacle. Hotels in Manzanita, Wheeler - Where to eat - Manzanita, Wheeler Maps and Virtual Tours

Reflections on - and in - the Oregon Coast: photo essay of the surreal

Another example of that same beach and shoot sequence is here. Hotels in Manzanita, Wheeler - Where to eat - Manzanita, Wheeler Maps and Virtual Tours

Strawberry Hill near Yachats can occasionally look like this. The spot is known for its intricate landscape – a mix of sandy stretches amid a labyrinth of rocky slabs and blobs. This time, the sand stole the show. Hotels in Yachats - Where to eat - Upper Lane County Maps and Virtual Tours


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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees nearly 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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