The Serpentine Swimmers Club is a group of about 40 hearty people of all ages and all walks of life who meet each weekend at an urban lake in London's Hyde Park to swim and race in near-freezing waters.

British photographer Andrew Buurman swam with the group (once), and then returned often to photograph these people doing what they feel driven to do. The result, I think, is a remarkable testimony to the accomplishments of people who willfully defy the deathly cold by celebrating their own vigorous bodies, the joy of burning muscles, and the satisfaction of not surrendering to aging bodies nor to the creature comforts of modern day life.

Their "club" dates back to the late 1800s, and with the exception of a few modern-day clues (such as the young mother posing with her infant in a modern jogger's stroller), the photographs capture a timeless quality of exuberance and pride and daring. One can easily imagine that the pioneering members of the Serpentine Swimmers Club looked very much like their tribal progeny of the 21st century.

— Jim Casper