Nothing compares to silent swimming at sunrise and dolphin-watching at sunset in pastel shades that will bowl you over, then slap you in the face with the harsh reality of a thousand low-lying coral islands, which were once five thousand, and will likely be completely submerged within the century.

A couple of months back, while in the Maldives staging the most bizarrely surreal overwater screening of my film, I tacked on a few firsts between two of the most mesmerising islands I have ever beheld. Over two days, I learned both painful ramifications of a global warming, and the promising conservation efforts from Soneva’s team of marine biologists and sustainability teams – which, though exceptional in their proficiency and innovation, take significant amounts of time that cannot be afforded by the constant and looming threat of a few extra degrees in ocean temperatures, and thus coral bleaching that can wipe out years of regeneration work and diverse ecosystems that rely on these delicate organisms.

The sentiment from the essay I wrote for In The Youth of Our Fury almost two years ago remains the same: it’s understandably impossible to comprehend our terrifying damage to our environment without firsthand knowledge of what it is we have to lose. For someone who grows up landlocked without the opportunity to witness the magic of a living, breathing ocean or rainforest or mountain range, the ideas of conservation and sustainability become commercial buzzwords limited to disingenuous political campaigns and crunchy granola mummy blogs. Even as someone who grew up in nature and an education system with a state-driven focus on the power of the individual to make environmental impacts with small acts, nothing could compare to taking a dive amongst the vibrant but vulnerable wildlife and the measures put in place to protect them.

  • Ginifer

    wow, margaret! I really missed your posts on the site, and I’m so glad you’re back to posting again. Love this update. The sheer quantity of imagery! I could scroll and rescroll for days and days and days

  • A true pirate in spirit! Love these images

  • Tatjana

    For me it was hard to get past [what became] the noise and disconnect and actually get to a point where I cared enough to change more about my lifestyle, especially when the changes would take me out of my usual route. The argument was usually “what’s the point when so many others are doing the exact opposite”, often punctuated by some kind of litter sitting just a few steps away from the damn bin. (Seriously though, why?)

    Strangely, as I’ve gotten older I’ve grown more of a consciousness of my own impact and I’m doing more and more to change them, detour from routine or not.

    Anyway tldr: I wish Aus had a more efficient bottle recycling system right now. Also those images are beautifully relaxing and hunger inducing and good luck on the next steps!

  • Maleika Halpin

    Gorgeous post Margaret,

    I think it’s incredibly important to talk conservation and protection of the land.

    But we should be careful of buzzwords like, ‘Global Warming’ —> now, Climate Change.
    Used to introduce taxes on the people. Taxes which fund wars.
    Actually the United States Department of Defence is one of the largest single consumers of energy in the world, responsible for 93% of all US government fuel consumption in 2007.

    The climate is always changing and there is evidence to show we are about to enter a Global ‘Cooling’ – to do with solar cycles. A cooler climate will still present challenges for survival, consumption and preservation – but they will be very different compared to a warming.

    I recommend a great book, ‘Climate Change, The Facts, 2017’

    Warm regards x
    (no pun intended)

  • Amanda

    Wow, you are in paradise! Lovely place xx

  • luc

    Beautiful this picture.
    Nice work
    I really like
    Good continuation

  • Anea Duratovic

    Thanks so much for sharing! Always love reading your articles.


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  • Saving our environment is so important. Thank you for taking the time out and writing this post. Amazing pictures!

    May ||

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  • ismail marjuki

    Good website! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes it is. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS.

  • Bekah Milns

    This looks like such a nice place.

  • this screening is legendary

  • Sa Analy

    It is a great place. You must have had a great vacation here. The scenery is so beautiful, the sea is clear.

  • Last pic is my favorite, the little island is the typical desert island where you want to take with you a bikini, a book and a beer.

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  • Emma Baker

    Oh, that’s great, the sea is so beautiful, I love all your pictures

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  • Global Link Tours

    I like your all blogs. Keep posting.
    Well Done
    Thank you!!!

  • Your photography skills are amazing. I love this.

  • Fashion & Lifestyle And More

    Obsessed with al the lovely summer outfits! Thanks For sharing your sexy beauty
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  • WOW You are Great photographer

    I like your style :)

  • Your imagery is beautiful Margaret! Y
    You may like to plant some of the herbs we have in our mini herb garden. We love Vietnamese mint (the BEST in rice paper rolls :)), parsley (great all rounder), mint (also good in rice paper rolls) and we planted some Marigolds to keep away any pesky bugs. Check out my Insta feed for a recent snap.
    Suzi x

  • 47 Media

    very informative Thank you.

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Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese director, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Margaret has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, UNIQLO, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Margaret’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NYLON, Marie Claire, GRAZIA and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for the past four consecutive years. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim.

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