In the early morning hours, when the sun is just starting to peak over Hereford Inlet in North Wildwood, there is a calm and quiet that resident Dorothy McMonagle Kulisek loves. Every morning, she walks the North Wildwood Sea Wall, about a two mile stretch along the inlet.
"I love being alone, and there's not too many people that are out that time of day," Kulisek said.
Over the last 30 years, Kulisek - who has a fine arts degree from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia - has been painting, drawing, or taking pictures of the ocean. For the last four years, however, the artist and publisher of Wildwood and Ocean City Sun by the Sea magazines, has been taking photos using her iPhone during her morning walks.
"By the time I've done my morning walk, I take like 20 pictures every time - I can't help it," Kulisek said. "I put them on my Facebook page and people commented that I should make a coffee table book."
So she did. Kulisek recently self-published a coffee table book titled "Hello Sun," containing the photographs she took of various sunrises over the inlet. Each image is also paired with handwritten quote that Kulisek chose.
The quotes are mostly about the sun, nature, creation, and the ocean, Kulisek said, and all of her photographs are unedited.
"The ocean just really moves you when you're near it," Kulisek said. "Anyone that walks by the sea is changed by it, it seems."
In addition to "Hello Sun," Kulisek self-published a book written in 1905 by Thomas Martindale, "Wildwood Ways and Down-East Wilds." The book is a republication of a book that has been out of circulation since 1920.
"Wildwood Ways" is a firsthand account of what the landscape looked like on the island in the early twentieth century. It contains "sketches and photographs that are the island's earliest pictorial documents," Kulisek said on her website.
Kulisek doesn't have the original addition - only water-stained Xeroxed pages that she obtained from a local who collects old photographs - so she worked on assembling the pages back into book format before republishing.
"It's so amazing," Kulisek said. "(Martindale) just takes you through the island, and you feel like you're here among the wildflowers and wild growths and artesian ponds - it's just wonderful."
Both books are available in Kulisek's online store, accessible at sunstore.bigcartel.com. "Hello Sun" is $20 and "Wildwood Ways and Down-East Wilds" is $15.
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