Man Mountain Merkel

Photographer Dan Merkel is notorious for capturing beautiful water shots. Dan would put himself so deep just for a single click, only to reveal some of the most memorable images in Surfing Magazine’s history. Legends like Shaun Tomson, MR, PT, Michael Tomson and many more have all had the honor of being captured by Dan in his signature 35 mm.

I first spent time with Dan while filming Lost & Found, and we’ve always kept in touch. Dan will call and text me photos, sharing his latest locations and adventures, chasing the sun for epic images. I’m always energized by artists who continue to follow their passions and evolve alongside technology. Last week, my phone blew up as Dan was shooting a pier at sunset in California. As I viewed the images, I was reminded and inspired by Dan’s exploration with exposure and new tools, finding new ways to expand his vision and express himself.


With a name like Man Mountain Merkel, one has to ask, how did he get that nickname? Gerry Lopez dubbed Dan the Mountain Man because he would schlep his mountain of camera gear the 2+ miles in and out of Uluwatu everyday, dripping with sweat. What a maverick. Stay safe on the road, Dan! Share and enjoy The ALOHA!