Heather Perry doesn’t know this, but when I called her to interview her about her latest underwater pictures, I was wearing a swim suit. It only felt right. Miss Perry seems to have spent more time in the water than on dry land, and I wanted to fit in.
It all started somewhat innocently for Perry. When she was in college, in spite of being prone to ear infections, she got herself on the swim team. Then, as part of her biology major she was required to get certified for scuba diving. It was the beginning of an obsession with the water that would become the foundation for the rest of her life. Soon after she graduated from college she landed in the Caribbean for a few years. Exposed to the stunning undersea landscape of the area she deliberated on how she could find a job that would let her spend the rest of her life subsurface. She found the answer to her career query in a closet.
Heather Perry was working at an aquarium when one day she opened up a closet and found a disused underwater camera. The aquarium gave her leave to do what she wanted with the gear and her photography career was born. A profession she pursued with the goal of making it to National Geographic along a path that she says she traveled by putting one foot in front of the other. Each step calculated to take her in the direction of the magazine.
Perry’s current passion aside from her photography work is a company called Swim Vacation where she is one of the partners. It’s a guided tour company for open water swimming in the British Virgin Islands. Once again fate nudged her in the direction of another opportunity to get wet. Perry got involved with Swim Vacation because she had been out of the water for an extended period because of an illness. After getting back in the pool post illness she started to pursue open water swimming events which is where she connected with Swim Vacation’s founder. Once she heard about the company she asked how she could get involved. It was a match made in, um, the waves.
Heather Perry is exceedingly passionate about the water and what it can do for us both physically and emotionally. Even though the water isn’t a natural habitat for humans, I can attest to the connection that Perry feels that she has for the environment. And with Jim Cameron’s expedition to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, I have a feeling more landlubbers are going to be looking at that horizon of infinite blue with a yearning eye.