Jennifer Adler | Illusions: A Lens into Our Fragile Freshwater

In Florida, we spend our lives walking on water. This precious resource is threatened, yet it is out of the public eye. Hidden in the aquifer below, water winds its way through limestone tunnels that few will ever experience, and where this water makes its way to the surface, it forms the highest density of freshwater springs in the world. But instead of seeing that the springs are fragile and degrading, we see a watery peninsula filled with lakes, wetlands and river—an illusion of abundance. Underwater photography can help change this illusion and mend the disconnect between our lives aboveground and the aquifer below. Photographs speak without words or political bias, allowing people to make their own conclusions and empowering people to make informed decisions about this threatened resource. By giving people a novel view of our drinking water, both deep in the aquifer and in the sunlit springs, photos can help us fundamentally change our perspectives on water.

Jennifer Adler is a conservation photographer and underwater photojournalist. Her work is informed by her scientific background, and she uses her imagery to communicate science and conservation. She has a degree in marine biology from Brown University and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary ecology from the University of Florida. She specializes in underwater photography and is a trained freediver and cave diver. An ongoing theme in her work is the connection between people and water in a changing climate. Her grant-funded and assignment work has taken her all over the world to document science and conservation for The Nature Conservancy, National Geographic, Huffington Post, and the International Women's Media Foundation. Jenny is a freelance photojournalist represented by National Geographic Image Collection.