Marieke van der Velden: Weotinga, Burkina Faso. Two minutes before the flood came.

Work / Photography

Photography: Striking swimming pools with wonderful stories to tell by Marieke van der Velden

Anyone who knows me well knows that swimming pools are my favourite places to hang out, but that I don’t actually like being in the water, more just looking at it. Joan Didion writes that swimming pools are “infinitely soothing to the eye,” and these striking set of images by photojournalist Marieke van der Velden definitely confirm Didion’s statement. It’s a photography series that is continually growing, a kind of visual travel diary of Marieke’s, who takes photographs of all the interesting pools that she visits whilst on assignments that take her all around the world.

What is so incredible about the photographs is that, even though they document the same thing every time, each pool is so varied and says so much about the different cities or countries that Marieke finds herself in. The accompanying captions are wonderfully insightful, and help to bring the intriguing stories hidden in each of the pools’ depths to the surface.


Marieke van der Velden: Amsterdam, the Netherlands. A flooting swimming pool in the Amstel river.


Marieke van der Velden: Mombasa, Kenya. Girls having a holiday in a luxury resort.


Marieke van der Velden: Monte Gordo, Portugal. Retired North European people relaxing in the southern European sun during winter time.


Marieke van der Velden: Coonor, India. Colonial English swimming pool, now owned by an Indian family.


Marieke van der Velden: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Start of a heavy thunderstorm.


Marieke van der Velden: Near Monrovia, Liberia. One of the swimming pools of the murdered President Tolbert.


Marieke van der Velden: Lilongwe, Malawi. Students at the end of their internship.