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This is, quite possibly, Dara Lork’s favorite place on Earth—Cliff Island in Newport Beach’s Corona del Mar.


Cliff Island in Corona del Mar

“I visit about 10 to 15 times a month,” says Lork, who lives a bit inland and up the coast in Lakewood. He’s eyed this unique rock formation from afar, until this particular day. “I told myself, ‘I have to go and see if there’s something nice out there.’ And, yes, it was amazing. Sea grass, starfish—they were all over the place. Everything from Mother Nature that I could imagine, I was seeing.” He spent about an hour on Cliff Island, exploring the sea life. And then, he says, “everything” began to change: “The color of the sky was so amazing, and the clouds were moving pretty fast. I knew this would be the best light.” So he grabbed his camera, found just the right spot and clicked. “I love this photo, but I love Cliff Island even more,” he says. “I always want to go there—if not to shoot, then to see nature.