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Maldivian Solitude

Corey Wilson


Behind the Shot

Set about 430 miles from the mainland of India, the Maldives are a chain of 26 atolls that stretch across a territory that spans approximately 115 square miles. Settled over 2,500 years ago, the Maldives today have more than 515,000 inhabitants, mainly in the capital of Male, also known as “the King’s Island.” Due to global climate change, the Maldives are considered the third-most-endangered island nation on earth. Water levels are projected to rise by 23 inches by the year 2100, when the nation’s 200 inhabited islands will be well underwater. The average ground level is just 4 feet, 11 inches above sea level, and the highest natural point is only 17 feet above sea level.

Tourism is an important industry in the Maldives. Considered one of the world’s best destinations for diving, only 1% of the country is land, spread over 1,192 tiny islands and atolls. The Maldives are known for their coral reefs, clear warm waters, abundant marine life and bright white-sand beaches. There are 26 named atolls in the Maldives, each with its own unique dive sites and features.

While on a trip to the Maldives for a fashion and surf photo shoot, Corey was able to capture some of the unexplored areas known only to locals. “We were looking for a completely out-of-the way location, no other people, no signs of civilization. The captain of the boat we had chartered said he knew of a perfect location. We set sail, and 12 hours later, woke up here.”