BREAKING NEWS Temples, mosques and churches in New York State can reopen with 25% capacity Full Story

Stunning images of the Mediterranean shoreline

Rugged coastal inlets, hidden islands and fishing boats dotted in crystal-clear water -- where could we be ...

Posted: Aug 10, 2018 2:28 PM
Updated: Aug 10, 2018 2:28 PM

Rugged coastal inlets, hidden islands and fishing boats dotted in crystal-clear water -- where could we be but the Mediterranean?

Aerial photographer Tom Hegen visited this region to capture the showstopping beauty of this famous coastline and shares his shots on Instagram. But his photo series doesn't just highlight the region's beauty -- he hopes his images are also read as a comment on the effects of overtourism on the area.

Mediterranean Sea

Oceans and Seas (by name)

Physical locations

Tourism

Travel and tourism

Arts and entertainment

Photography

Visual arts

"The basic interest for me in my aerial photography is I try to show human altered landscapes, so how we as humans change and intervene in our environment," Hegen tells CNN Travel.

"The idea was to explore a sort of integrated interaction of people with the landscape around the coastlines."

Mediterranean magic

The new series follows The Salt Series, Hegen's aerial depiction of European salt farms -- an artful but striking comment on how man-made activity disrupts the natural world.

The Mediterranean Series also illustrates the juxtaposition of man and nature, but in a more subtle way.

"Every year over 220 million people spend their holiday along the coast of the Mediterranean," says Hegen. "Located in southern Europe, it is also one of the most crowded and least protected regions in the world."

The spirit of Hegen's series is applauded by Justin Francis of Responsible Travel -- a self-described activist travel company that focuses on the issue of overtourism.

"Travel has always been one of the most visual industries, now perhaps more so than ever with Instagram," he tells CNN Travel. "Photography is the best way to document change. It's vital we do this as tourism is a largely unregulated and unmanaged industry with the ability to change destinations for better or for worse."

Changing tourism habits

The parts of France, Spain, Greece and Italy that border the Mediterranean sea have long been tourist hotspots. In recent years, countries such as Morocco, Turkey and Croatia have also seen their visitor numbers soar.

According to the Mediterranean Growth Initiative (MGI), Morocco is the most popular North African destination on the Med. In 2015, the country had almost triple the number of tourist arrivals than 20 years earlier, in 1995.

The Mediterranean remains a popular tourist destination, despite the fact that the region has become the center of the European migrant crisis.

Responsible travel

Hegen isn't advocating that we stop vacationing along the Med.

He's also aware that -- thanks to the aquamarine intensity of the glistening water -- many viewers will be searching for flights before they've even finished scrolling.

He wants his images to evoke "the color, mood, and texture of the Mediterranean" and hopes the viewer will be entranced by this aerial peek into paradise.

"Due to the density of countries, the Mediterranean is one of the most versatile places to experience European and other cultures," Hegen adds.

"Even when it covers a comparable small place on earth, the landscape and culture can vary a lot."

In fact, the region encompasses countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Attracting attention

Hegen encourages vacationers to enjoy their trips along the Mediterranean coast. He just wants us to remember the impact our activity can have on the landscape when we're traveling -- and he presents this idea through photography.

"People get attracted by color and abstraction, but for me it's also very important to bring a message across," he says.

"For me the photos are basically an access to get the viewers' attention to certain topics."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 376208

Reported Deaths: 30236
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City20594021782
Nassau407972132
Suffolk402391918
Westchester338541389
Rockland13297655
Orange10484444
Erie6359549
Dutchess3984142
Monroe3117230
Onondaga2329149
Albany1941112
Ulster171177
Sullivan140931
Putnam127060
Niagara109970
Oneida107758
Schenectady70630
Broome60552
Rensselaer49728
Saratoga49614
Columbia41134
Madison32315
Warren25628
Orleans24741
Steuben24641
Greene24218
Washington24013
Fulton21924
Ontario2199
St. Lawrence2072
Genesee2055
Tompkins1670
Chemung1372
Tioga13422
Chenango1335
Wayne1223
Livingston1217
Herkimer1153
Oswego1123
Cayuga982
Clinton974
Chautauqua974
Montgomery964
Cattaraugus925
Wyoming885
Delaware844
Jefferson750
Otsego735
Seneca610
Schoharie510
Allegany510
Cortland410
Yates396
Essex380
Franklin230
Lewis200
Schuyler120
Hamilton50
Unassigned00
Utica
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 76°
Oneonta
Scattered Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 74°
Herkimer
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 76°
Thendara
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 76°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
Menu 2 Go list of takeout dinners & fish fries
Apply to Go the Distance 2020
23 courses for only $79.99