Walter Coker is one of the foremost photographers in the St. Augustine area. A Crescent Beach resident, he remains an avid surfer and photographer. Mr. Coker has been surfing the breaks of St. Augustine since 1974, and taking incredible camera shots since aproximately the same time. He received his first camera as a gift from his father, and went on to become a photojournalist for quite some time. He also became one of the unofficial photographers of the St. Augustine surfing community, his pictures landing in surf magazines and on the walls of local suf shops. Be sure to browse our exhibits and collections for a look at some more of his impressive work, and check out his oral history to hear about it all from the man himself.
Jimmy Wilson is a world-reknowned surf photographer who was born and spent most of his youth in St. Augustine. He remains an avid surfer, shaped by his teenage years being spent around the Surf Station as a teenager. It was as a youth that he got into photography, eventually taking several photography classes after high school in community college. While in college, Jimmy was approached to become a full-time surf photographer, and he took the chance. He then traveled the prime surfing destinations world, riding the waves and capturing some impressive photographs of other legendary surfers, including Kelly Slater and Gabe Kling, two other St. Augustine surfers who became world-class professionals and competition winners. Check out some of his amazing works in our exhibits and collections.
Kenneth Barrett Jr. is a reknowned local photographer and surfer. He documented much of the city's surf culture in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s with his camera, capturing impressive shots of some of the well-known sufers in the community. He also captured pictures of various types of surfboards, including those made by local shapers like Burgess Autrey. Aside from surfing, Mr. Barrett is an avid local photographer, often working with local organizations and groups. He is also responsible for recovering the Richard Twine Photograph Collection, which was recently on display and is held by the St. Augustine Historical Society. Browse our collections to see some of his surf-related imagery in the Local Surfers, Surfboard Design, and Surf Contest exhibits.
Dave Macri is an avid local surfer and surf photographer, as well as one of the former owners of St. Augustine's very own Blue Sky Surf Shop. For nearly forty years, Blue Sky was one of the premier surf shops in not only St. Augustine, but all of Northeast Florida. It provided local surfers with quality boards and gear, while also hosting and sponsoring various local surf events. Dave Macri's photography has a similar reputation for quality, his photographs having appeared in surf magazines and articles from all around the country. Check out some of his pictures in our collections and exhibits, and be sure to listen to some of the oral histories to hear surfers recount stories of the Blue Sky Surf Surf Shop and Dave Macri.
"Wild" Bill Eichholz was one of the first and best St. Augustine surfers according to many surfers we have interviewed, a legend looked up to by the generations who came after him. Known for living up to his nickname and being a master of the waves, Eichholz was a mainstay in the waters of St. Augustine. Surfing eventually landed him a professional photographer's career, travelling the world to record video and take photographs of surfers at all sorts of competitions and events. Sadly, "Wild" Bill passed away in 1992, but his legacy lives on through his incredible pictures and the storeies told by contempories and those who came after him. Some of his film footage can be seen in the St. Augustine Surf Culture Museum at the the Tovar House on St. Augustine Historical Society property. Be sure to also check out our Local Surfers exhibit and listen to our oral history collection to loearn more about one of St. Augustine's surf pioneers.
Jared Jeffs is a local surfer and photographer from the area. In his own words,
"Growing up in the water around NE Florida has helped make ocean recreation a part of my life since day one. This has allowed me to acquire a comfort in the water that has allowed me to capture these images. Today I ship surfboards all over the world over at The Surf Station, and still take photos whenever possible. With the rich history of watermen (and women) from this area, it is a great honor to be a part of it myself!”
M.E. Gruber was a mailman and an amateur photographer known for his fascination with surfing. Between 1965 and 1972, Gruber took thousands of surfing photos from Lake Worth to Jacksonville, organizing occasional slide shows to display his work to the surfers he’d photographed. He appreciated the beauty of the ocean and later became interested in the surfing culture in Palm Beach and surrounding counties. As an amateur photographer he took pictures of the surfing community and choreographed and produced several photographic shows that created a public interest and displayed his photographic talent. Known to the young surfers as "Mr. Gruber," the postman and his tripod were a frequent sight on the sands of Palm Beach County beaches. Sadly, Gruber passed away in 2007, but in 2008, his 5,000 photographs gave birth to the Palm Beach County Surfing History Project, formed to preserve, document and exhibit the sport’s local past. Luckily, we have been granted access to some of his work. Be sure to check it out both under the Local Surfers exhibit and in the M.E. Gruber Photography Collection on our Digital Archives.
Ryan Miller is a St. Augustine surfer, who like many of his contemporaries in the 1980s and 1990s, became an internationally recognized name. Like Jimmy Wilson, Ryan Miller took up surfing as a child and photography as a teenager, eventually perfecting his skills to the point of being able to fly around the world to professionally photograph surf competitions. He primarily captures images for the World Surf League, though he also runs a seasonal ice cream shop up north. Ryan's works can be found in various surf magazines and publications.