On our Morocco photo tour, we visit the Erg Chebbi Dunes, the largest section of the Sahara desert inside Morocco. We ride camels out very early into the dunes to get in position for sunrise. But sometimes, the sunrise fails to excite us – and this year, the sun came up and hid behind clouds during the first part of the morning. As that scene was not captivating me, I did what I always teach others to do, to turn around and look in all directions. Our camel guide, Hassan, was lying on the dunes, watching the morning unfold, and pouring sand through his hands. In that moment, as I watched him, I realized that any morning that one can be out in the dunes and watch the day begin is a good morning – no, a great morning. I made several pictures, but this one showed how content and comfortable he was, lying there. I loved the color contrast of the coral-hued dunes against his Tuareg blue robe.
Hassan sees the sun rise most days as he is always busy leading people into the dunes, but when I asked him whether he tires of it, he said ‘No. It’s different every day, and this is my life, the dunes.’ He makes his living surrounded by sand, the very sand is his opportunity for income. He walks barefoot through the dunes, leading us on our camels. Where most of us try not to get all ‘sandy’, he’s at home in this sea of sand and sits or lies down without issue.