A photographer friend of mine wanted to take pics of my daughter near the beach yesterday. It was a lovely time with glorious weather, ideal lighting conditions, and all the things that make a great photo opportunities.
One of the places my photog friend wanted to try was on a picturesque jetty that has a very large bridge near it.
Friend positioned daughter on the rocks just off the jetty and was delighted the waves were whipped up enough to provide spray in the background. I was holding the bags and my butt and back were soaked from the spray, but anything for art.
People walked back and forth on this narrow jetty also enjoying the scenery and the sea waters. The jetty was slippery and I moved gingerly each time we shifted because I did not want to fall off.
Suddenly, a woman ran, RAN, down the jetty to my friend and urgently said, "Watch out- the Coast Guard will take your camera and equipment if they see you shooting pictures in the direction of the bridge! It happened to my brother. Taking pictures of the bridge supports violates national security!"
My friend was shocked, but quickly shifted her position so as not to be pointing in the direction of the bridge. I reassured her after the woman left, telling her we didn't quite fit the terrorist profile and surely the other woman was exaggerating just a little.
We were soon left alone on the jetty to finish the pictures.
As if on cue, a Coast Guard cutter eased into view. My friend and daughter were occupied with taking their pictures, but I saw three men on the cutter pull out binoculars when they got closer to the jetty and train them on us.
My friend and daughter are both beautiful, so at first I thought these Coast Guard guys were looking just for the fun of it.
When the cutter turned around and headed back in our direction, this time with more folks with binoculars poointed our way, I alerted my friend and we packed up and hustled off the jetty.
The cutter turned back around and headed out further into the gulf, but lesson learned. Even cameras can violate national security these days.