Carol Schuldt is a strong and fiercely independent woman.
While her life has been colored by multiple tragedies (the lost of her two daughters to mental illness and drug addiction, and a car accident that left her son profoundly disabled), at 83 Carol is one of the most alive and vibrant people I know.
Her weathered body (which has been through hip replacement and several bouts with cancer) houses a youthful spirit that is energized and sustained by her intense connection to the sun and the ocean.
Most days, after working all morning in her wild garden, she rides her bicycle to the beach where she body surfs naked in the frigid Pacific. When the beach is shrouded in “F-O-G” (a word, like “C” or cancer she will not utter, but only spell), Carol jumps in her trinket-festooned pickup and races across the Golden Gate Bridge to hike in the hills and skinny dip in a sun-dappled spring.
For several years I have been photographing Carol both at home and on her daily adventures in nature. My days with her are always full and when we part ways I inevitably feel like a spell has been broken. Carol’s adventurous, playful and carefree spirit are, for me, intoxicating and inspiring -- and impossible to maintain for long outside of her sphere.