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BIO: Marco is an avid surfer, freediver, jade carver and all around waterman who has been noted for his ability to capture the underwater world on just one breath. Marco has contributed his work to projects involving The Economist, The Smithsonian, and T-Mobile, ABC's 'Right This Minute', the UCSB Coastal Fund, has been published in Wild Hope and Santa Cruz Waves Magazines, as well as gained recognition through contributions to National Geographic YourShot and The Monterey Bay Aquarium.


Born in 1995, Marco grew up just outside of San Francisco, CA. His fascination with marine life was notable even as a toddler, but it wasn't until he began surfing at the age of 8, that the cold Northern California waters became familiar. This rough coastline was a sanctuary that provided Marco a clear and positive path as he found himself growing older. At the age of 18, Marco started freediving for abalone on California's north coast and took to spearfishing shortly after. Aside from the abundance of food the ocean provided, he was (and still is) astounded with the beauty that lies just below the surface. Marco's love of photography came as a way of trying to show people the incredible subsurface ecosystems that few of us ever get to see firsthand.

Marco attended the University of California Santa Barbara and graduated with a degree in Film and Media Studies. The four years spent surfing and diving in the warm clear waters that surround the UCSB campus allowed Marco to truly hone in his craft. Most of the underwater photos on this site were taken just a few blocks from his house, usually on weekdays before or after class. Currently, Marco is residing on the Central Coast of California, living a simple life and trying to get in the ocean as much as possible. 

Marco doing what he loves. Photos Taken by Joe Platko and Jessica Kendall Bar

GOAL: "From a very young age the ocean has been a place of mystery and adventure. As I grow older, I find myself immersed deeper and deeper into the depths of it's unknown. Whether it's surfing or diving, I always try to push myself to have as much fun as my aquatic adventures can provide; competition and rivalries left back on shore. The best diver is the one who carries with them the most respect and astonishment each and every time they enter the water, not the diver who can kill the most fish."


"The aim of my photography is to try to rekindle a respect for our natural world that I feel has become lost in this day and age. I hope to inspire those whose curiosity leads them into a deep fascination with the world I try to capture in my images.​"


WHY FREEDIVING? "Freediving is basically "Extreme Snorkeling" as me and my friends like to joke. One breath at the surface is all you get before you dive down - no tanks, spare air, hookas, hoses, compressors or any other crazy contraptions that may help you breathe underwater. With some practice, talented freedivers can spend minutes underwater at depths that easily exceed 50ft. Although Freediving is not the easiest or most practical way to take underwater photos, the difficulty of shooting photos on breath hold rather than SCUBA adds an entirely new element to underwater photography that I find extremely rewarding when done right. The idea stems from a true sportsman's perspective on spearfishing; shooting fish on SCUBA essentially cheating. So why can't photography be the same way?"


"Although I am scuba certified through NAUI, no oxygen tanks were used to take any of the photos shown on this site, all underwater visuals were captured while freediving. However, freelance work can be done on SCUBA."


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 Below are some images of myself and the ocean over the years:

Marco Mazzo 1-27-20 Mavs-10.jpg
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