Puerto Rico

Condominio Marbella del Caribe is a series of photographs I made from the 14th floor of a rented apartment in Puerto Rico during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pictures were taken between December 2020 and March 2021.

The condo is oceanfront, attracting many tourists from all over. On the balcony, I got a nice view of the building’s swimming pool. Every time I looked out, I was entertained by watching people enjoying their limited time in the water. Because of the pandemic, the pool area was restricted to 25% capacity and required a reservation that allowed bathers to stay for one hour. What caused a constant rotation of individuals and family groups, guaranteeing my amusement.

I obsessively observed the activity around the blue rectangle filled with water and chlorine. Adults sunbathing, swimming, cannonball jumps, kids playing with balls, floats, and forgotten bodyboards. The selfies, the kissing, and the dancing; all of it happened around one area, the wall dividing the shallow from the deep end.

This wall became my focus, and I created a habit of looking out every hour, hoping for a situation to photograph. My curiosity was fed by the broad range of individuals that came and went.

The number of people multiplied on weekends and holidays; most of them were fleeting visitors enjoying the Caribbean weather.

I am interested in the interaction of humans with the spaces they occupy. The structure of places influences the activities we engage in, the meaning we give them, and how we interact in specific situations. After months of photographing and watching people’s behavior and their social habits in this public space, I noticed certain patterns. Postures and gestures replicated among my subjects, despite the diversity of the community.

Sometimes the scene was so familiar that I started to predict what would happen next; a jump here, a splash there. And with that came the premature joy of the photo I was about to take. However, the surprise factor was more frequent and very exciting. Every circumstance was an opportunity to capture an instant in the hour of relaxation of my temporary neighbors.