The underwater world includes not only oceans, but also freshwater aquifers, rivers, and springs that are home to a hidden array of amazing colorful plants, animals, and rock formations that can only be glimpsed if one looks beneath the surface. Ron Coley’s book takes us down Texas’s San Marcos River system and reveals this enchanted world through colorful images, maps, and stories.
I met Ron years ago when we had the privilege, through the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society; to explore the wonders of the Channel Islands while soaking up a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and inspiration from the legendary photographer, Ernie Brooks. Ron has a keen eye for beauty and a knack for storytelling, both visually and with words. He once saw me diving beside a sea lion and was inspired to create a film that transformed a simple frolic between a girl and a playful sea lion into a timeless surreal underwater ballet.
His passion for the incredible Edwards Aquifer and the San Marcos Springs is infectious. As director of Aquarena, Ron introduced countless others to this hidden underwater treasure, sharing its beauty as well as its significance as a unique biological ecosystem which is home to many endangered and threatened creatures.
He encouraged scientists, divers, and archaeologists to explore its depths and ensure its protection. Now, with this book, we can dive into the Fountains of St. Marks through his eyes and voice.
Ron brings it to life as only he can do. He sweeps us through the history of the discovery of the springs, takes us along the river’s twists and turns with detailed maps, and stuns us with images of dreamy seascapes and fascinating critters. I can feel his love of this place and can almost hear his delightful Oklahoma twang in his colorful descriptions.
—Robin MacFadden Parish
Vice President, North American Operations National Coordinator,
North American Rolex Scholarship Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society®