Exposure

Pro Surfer Stephanie Gilmore Knows the Secret to Happiness

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Photo: Morgan Maassen
When it came time to find someone for the cover of our March 2015 happiness issue, Stephanie Gilmore immediately came to mind. The star, who's earned six world surfing titles, lives by some simple wisdom: "I'm going to just enjoy exactly where I am." Fortunately for Gilmore, she's usually in places like Hawaii, Mexico, and Sri Lanka, chasing the biggest waves she can find. To capture Gilmore's laid-back attitude, we caught up with Morgan Maassen, one of surfing's best photographers who's shot Gilmore for years on and off the water. "Stephanie always has three things on her: a magic surfboard, some sort of exotic guitar, and her golden smile," says Maassen.
Photo: Morgan Maassen
Maassen: Morning surf session in front of the beach house on the North Shore of Hawaii. I love photographing Gilmore and get excited every time the opportunity arises to travel together.
Photo: Morgan Maassen
I've never seen someone emit such radiance both in and out of the water. That's why Gilmore represents the pinnacle of a photographic subject to me. But even beyond the photos we take and the places we visit, my favorite part is having a beer with her and listening to her play guitar.
Photo: Morgan Maassen
Gilmore charges in for more.
Photo: Morgan Maassen
Heading out for one more wave after a long day in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Photo: Morgan Maassen
Playing in the water on an off day when conditions weren't right for surfing, but perfect for photography.
Photo: Morgan Maassen
Pre-surf coffee at the Quiksilver house in Hawaii.
Photo: Morgan Maassen
Like all great surfers, Gimore combines power with style.
Photo: Morgan Maassen
Gilmore cruising on a photogenic wave in Hawaii.
Photo: Morgan Maassen
There was plenty of power on display at a Mexican point break.
Photo: Morgan Maassen
Hawaiian weather is never dull. This morning, we were pleasantly surprised by a rainbow as we waited for waves.
Photo: Morgan Maassen
Solitude in Hawaii.
Photo: Morgan Maassen
Drifting in the lineup in between sets near Oaxaca, Mexico.

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