Mario spent his childhood snorkeling the Florida reefs, and fishing in the Everglades with his dad. It was here where Mario acquired his passion and love for nature, which eventually led to him earning his bachelors degree in the biological sciences. He continued his studies with some grad school work at FIU researching the native orchids of South Florida. While attending grad school he volunteered with orchid restoration projects with FIU and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
It was during this time, that his interest in photography flourished as he was creating photographic documentation of endangered orchids in the Florida Everglades. Then, naturally, Mario to took his photography to his other passion, the ocean. He found a connection with nature, through photography, that energized others to join him on his ventures. Mario continues to use his photography in the hope to inspire others to explore and protect the beauty of our planet. In fact, Mario lives by his favorite quote,
IN THE END WE WILL CONSERVE ONLY WHAT WE LOVE; WE WILL LOVE ONLY WHAT WE UNDERSTAND; AND WE WILL UNDERSTAND ONLY WHAT WE ARE TAUGHT.— BABA DIOUM
In addition, Mario has donated his work for variety of fund raising events that benefit the continuation of research and education on the conservation of sea turtles. Recently, he donated one of his pictures to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of sea turtle conservation between the Sea Turtle Conservancy and the Bermuda Turtle Project. The picture is now a legal stamp that can be purchased locally where part of the profits are utilized to continue the conservation efforts on the Islands. Mario’s late father was an avid stamp collector, which made this his participation on this project that much meaningful.
Mario has also worked for the Miami Dade County Sea turtle conservation program for 3 years. He currently volunteers his time to the program where sea turtle nesting data is collected and reported to the FWC. The pictures he takes are donated to promote education on the programs social media accounts , local presentations and events.
Altogether, Mario has impacted and continues to make an impact in the promotion of sea turtle conservation. His efforts aim to educate and support the conservation of species and the protection of natural habitats.