Longtime Ocean Grove visitors take a dip in the roiling Atlantic surf.
Years before “Snooki” became a household name, Toensing photographed the Jersey Shore for National Geographic. “I had grown up on the Maine coast, which is rocky, pristine, and empty. And here’s this place that’s packed full. I just didn’t think of that as beautiful. But what was contagious was everybody’s obsession with the place. They were so attached to it.”
Joyce Skeels (left) and Beverley Ehrenfeld (middle) are long-time summer residents of Ocean Grove, a one mile square town founded by Methodists as a retreat community in 1869. Though the town is dry, these women invited Amy Toensing into Joyce's beach tent to share wine, stories, and laughter. Soon they all went swimming and Toensing captured this image with an underwater point-and-shoot camera. “There’s a beautiful lack of control that happens when you’re out in those swells. I think this picture gives you that feeling,” she says.