One picture in particular sprang to mind when I came across The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Depth.”

Just over a year ago I was exploring the Calabrian coast of southern Italy with two friends. It was a weekday in November and there were no tourists around, the silence being broken only by the sea lapping onto the pristine beaches. We pulled up to a viewpoint nestled by the side of a winding road at the top of a tall cliff, rising from the sand. The winding, craggy coast stretched wide on either side and I looked out at the horizon, contemplating the vast expanse of Mediterranean that separated us from Northern Africa.

But then, upon looking straight down to the shore, I saw a man, completely naked, lying in the ebbing tide, his face in the sand. The water lapped gently over his back, swimming around the shore before gliding back into the body of the sea to be replaced by another low wave. As we watched on in curiosity, light rain began to fall, puncturing the water. The man got up, jogged over to his pile of things, moved them to give shelter from the rain and then settled back down to resume his position in the sand. I’m not sure how long we stood and watched this almost unmoving scene for; it was mesmerising, the picture of freedom and peace, the depth of the connection between man and nature.

When I had this photo developed, I was overwhelmed by the vibrancy of the blue. The rain and grey clouds are forgotten, the harmony of the moment captured.

The Naked Bather ©Helen Leech