One of my all-time favorite shots of our family on the beach at Santa Cruz at high tide.
The beach in winter is fascinating to listen to and observe. The waves pound the sand with a force you can hear streets away.
They would entirely block the harbor mouth with sand if not for constant dredging by the harbor authorities throughout the winter - which redistributes sand onto the beach, where an earthmover works pretty much constantly to shore up the road side of the beach against natural erosion.
It's strange how we take our California beaches for granted, yet most of them (the ones people use, anyway) require management in some way.
I remember in Miami Beach, after Hurricane Andrew, when the lifeguard huts were swept 100-300 metres across the sand and the seaweed piled high in mounds you could climb, I realized how much work daily went into keeping the beaches manicured, evenly leveled and seaweed-free.
We all love nature, but we like it to be convenient. Living by the beach, you quickly realize that's an ongoing - and, in the grand scheme of things, ultimately futile - operation.
The sound of the surf roaring and eating away at the land is probably my favorite sound in the world.