An astounding tribute
The Fountains of Saint Mark creates a view of earth and its marvels that will astound all.
I truly enjoyed viewing and ‘reading’ Ron Coley’s new book. My entire day was blessed as I turned each page of his life’s work “The Fountains of Saint Mark”. It is a beautiful tribute to our water planet and the mysteries of its sources. Ron Coley’s images reflect his dedication to capture water’s journey. The words of Stephen Harrigan have touched the very soul of Ron’s life. Ron’s photography creates a journey for others to follow.
– Ernie Brooks
From underwater archaeology to underwater photography
Ron Coley’s fascinating book, The Fountains of Saint Mark may be the best book of the year for anyone interested in underwater archaeology, history, natural history, underwater photography … have I left any thing out? The beautiful underwater photographs and the compelling story of the San Marcos cultural and scientific attraction is worth a read for professionals and the general public alike. Before delving into this jewel, I admit I was perplexed by the title which became apparent early in the book. The writing about a complex ecosystem and the history surrounding it was lucid and easy to understand and magnetic enough to put San Marcos and the springs in my travel plans. Although I have photographed under water many places in the world, nothing I have seen or done compares to the logistical difficulties facing Coley as he presents this wonderful natural asset to the world above.
– Bill Wright
A life’s passion
Ron Coley has poured his life’s passion into this comprehensive book about the springs of San Marcos. A visual feast, it is a complete narrative study of the past, present and future of this seriously endangered national treasure. One can only hope that the next generation will love and protect these springs as much as he does.
– Jill Heinerth, Underwater Explorer
A wide geologic scope
This book takes me far higher than a bird’s eye view—and shows me the full geologic scope of the place. It also brings me down to the most intimate close-up sight of the most elusive creatures living underneath the surface and far down at the bottom. That’s the great gift in this book—the chance to catch a glimpse of sights that eluded me as a child.
A naturalist’s guide
For Texas Hill Country naturalists, this book is a must have for your personal library. Ron’s knowledge and love for the springs is evident in his beautiful underwater photography.
– Joe Griffis Smith
Photo Editor Texas Highways
An exceptional book
Just finished reading your book. What a magnificent labor of love. Outstanding writing, photography and artwork. Thanks for all you have done for our community — it’s past, present and future.
All my best to you and Jan and congratulations again on a job incredibly well done.
– Mark Hendricks
Director of Media Relations
Texas State University, Retired
A sweet compote of Texas history, natural science, and personal reminiscences
A sweet compote of Texas history, natural science, and personal reminiscences, Ron Coley’s new book, “The Fountains of Saint Mark – The Amazing San Marcos Springs,” delivers an illuminating and satisfying experience. Coley has long been associated with projects to preserve and restore these historic waters, making him the perfect voice to share their stories and importance. Adding to the enjoyment, his first-person text is highlighted with both photography and water color paintings. Truly water is life…and this excellent book, revealing Ron Coley’s immense knowledge and love for the place, brings the magic of The San Marcos Springs alive.
President, Island Dreams Travel
Ron Coley brings San Marcos Springs to life
The underwater world includes not only oceans, but also freshwater aquifers, rivers, and springs that are home to a hidden array of amazing colorful plants, animals, and rock formations that can only be glimpsed if one looks beneath the surface. Ron Coley’s book takes us down Texas’s San Marcos River system and reveals this enchanted world through colorful images, maps, and stories.
I met Ron years ago when we had the privilege, through the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society; to explore the wonders of the Channel Islands while soaking up a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and inspiration from the legendary photographer, Ernie Brooks. Ron has a keen eye for beauty and a knack for storytelling, both visually and with words. He once saw me diving beside a sea lion and was inspired to create a film that transformed a simple frolic between a girl and a playful sea lion into a timeless surreal underwater ballet.
His passion for the incredible Edwards Aquifer and the San Marcos Springs is infectious. As director of Aquarena, Ron introduced countless others to this hidden underwater treasure, sharing its beauty as well as its significance as a unique biological ecosystem which is home to many endangered and threatened creatures.
He encouraged scientists, divers, and archaeologists to explore its depths and ensure its protection. Now, with this book, we can dive into the Fountains of St. Marks through his eyes and voice.
Ron brings it to life as only he can do. He sweeps us through the history of the discovery of the springs, takes us along the river’s twists and turns with detailed maps, and stuns us with images of dreamy seascapes and fascinating critters. I can feel his love of this place and can almost hear his delightful Oklahoma twang in his colorful descriptions.
—Robin MacFadden Parish
Vice President, North American Operations National Coordinator,
North American Rolex Scholarship Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society®