The Sandcastle Man

by Frank October. 29, 2016 1005 views

Technical info: shot in June 2014 with Nikon D600 and D800 bodies with Tamron 24-70/2.8 VC and 70-200/2.8 VC lenses.

Although I live in Alabama, one of my favorite places anywhere is the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego.  One of the hidden gems of that area is Bill Pavlacka, aka The Sandcastle Man.  He's been building sandcastles as a hobby for decades, and you can often see his work on Coronado's beach.

Sometimes it looks like this:

Rubble of a former sand castle...

The remains of what used to be a sand castle.

And sometimes you'll find one that has a little bit of age on it, like this one:


This one has been standing for a while; you can see where it's beginning to fall apart.

This one has been standing for a while; you can see where it's beginning to fall apart.

In the background you can see the iconic turret of the Hotel Del Coronado. Note the date on the sand...it appears to be June 24, 2014

Below you can see Bill among a crowd of people working on a new masterpiece.

While this day was a victim of "June Gloom", it eventually burned off and turned into a beautiful day.

This was the first time I had ever seen the mysterious man who built the castles, so I waited for him to finish and then went down to the beach for a closer look.

Having completed his castle, Bill sat down to enjoy the fruit of his labor. You can see his tip jar in the foreground.

Even with "June Gloom" as a backdrop, the scene is impressive.

Having an ultra-high resolution camera (Nikon D800) allowed me to capture the detail he put into his work.   I bet you almost missed Cinderella and Prince Charming in the previous photo.  Here's a closer look:

Look at all of that detail! Even the clock has hands and hours on it.

A few days later, Bill was back at work again on a new masterpiece.

Bill is at it again...notice the two tip jars on each side of the castle.


If you live in San Diego and want to hire Bill for an event, visit his website.

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