In the spring and in the fall, around the two annual equinoxes, a south facing beach like the one in Gulf Shores, Alabama, have one extra advantage. You can observe both a sunrise and a sunset from the same spot and both will be pretty much over the beach for a different mood from the ones over open water. In fact, the whole winter between the two equinoxes you will be able to enjoy both sunrises and sunsets, even if a bit more over the water. As the days extend, the sun will migrate too far over the land to the north.
Gulf Shores Beach SunsetGulf of Mexico
Setting sun over the beach at Gulf Shores, Alabama
Nikon D610, Nikkor AF-S 24 - 85mm ED, Aperture Priority +1 EV, 1/125 sec, f/16
Standing at almost the same spot as for the photo above just turned to the left and that is where the sun rose the following morning. For a different mood I went with a long exposure here completely flattening the already calm surface of the Gulf of Mexico. Not sure how but even the slope of the sandy beach disappeared for a complete leveled look of the sand and water.
Gulf Shores Beach SunriseGulf of Mexico
Rising sun over the beach at Gulf Shores, Alabama
Nikon D610, Nikkor AF-S 24 - 85mm ED, Aperture Priority +4 EV, 25 sec, f/22
First, I tried finding angles that would eliminate. any signs of civilization from my photos. however, as we continued our walk down the beach and the shape of the beach behind us changed it offered the below view including the silhouetted condominiums under the wild sunset colors.
A distant condo silhouette under bold sunset colors in Gulf Shores, Alabama
Nikon D610, Nikkor AF-S 24 - 85mm ED, Aperture Priority -2/3 EV, 1/125 sec, f/4.5
And finally for the least intuitive view. While this was at sunset the below view is towards the east. There, the bold colors of the sunset were replaced with more subtle pastel tones. And no, the long pier of the Gulf State Park did not hurt the composition a bit. It was visible from quite a distance and it took us a while to realize we would not make it all the way to it that evening.
The Gulf State Park Pier in the distance with painterly sunset colors in the eastern sky
Nikon D610, Nikkor AF-S 24 - 85mm ED, Aperture Priority, 1/50 sec, f/7.1
And that is it for today. One beach, many different looks.
Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy