Summers in Ocean City bring boundless joy: salty, sandy, sticky hands grasping for funnel cakes and Johnson’s Popcorn, bare feet pedaling beach cruisers down the street, jars gathered at dusk in hopes of capturing firefly friends. It’s a kid’s Wonderland.
But during other seasons, Ocean City is quiet. The fun houses look slightly haunted when empty. Ravens’ caws replace children’s screams. The sea grows cold. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, the twilight surf is only for you. And here lies my Wonderland.
This series of images endeavors to capture the palpable stillness that envelopes Ocean City during its off-seasons, in contrast to its summers. It also aims to convey my nostalgia for my own childhood spent playing on a beach in California — where I first learned how the sea can heal you. Whenever I'm here, Ocean City's wonder blurs my adult fears, and wraps me in a blanket like the morning fog.
Kirsten's series "Wonderland" exhibited at Positively 4th Street in Ocean City, New Jersey during October of 2023.