Our Story

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Sand, light and water: that’s where “we” started. We grew up in the same small town in Maine, went to the same schools, had the same teachers, were on the high school ski team together and knew the same people. Jill, and Mike’s sister, Georgia have been close friends since kindergarten. After high school we each took different paths but both ended up living and starting families outside of Boston. Thirty years later we ran into each other on the beach at Georgia’s home on a lake, on a crystal clear bluebird day. Our first date was a sunrise walk on the sand along the ocean. Now we make our home just off Humarock Beach where sand, light and water are part of each day.   


In our first conversations we found that our life stories gave each of us a similar understanding and appreciation of the importance of living authentically and as deliberately as possible, that there is beauty in the world and that adventure begins as easily as walking outside your front door. This common ground was highlighted by the creative side of each of us. Mike was drawn to Jill’s photography and artwork that convey the moods and beauty of coastal life. Similarly, Jill found a connection in Mike’s writing on his blog about the people and places he encounters while fly fishing. It didn’t take long for our two creative sides to merge as Jill took up fly fishing and Mike tagged along on photo safaris.     


We’ve finally decided to create a space where we can combine all of it, Jill Mason Art and Photography, Backwater Flats and Mud Dog Saltwater Flies to document through images and words, the people, places and experiences we find interesting and that move us. This is not one of those “we quit our jobs to travel the world and live out our dreams” websites. We are not “professional” photographers or writers. Jill’s background is in the art and design area of the apparel business as well as wedding and portrait photography. Mike’s training on the camera was in crime scene and surveillance photography; in addition to writing his own blog, he has contributed to other blogs, websites and magazines in the fly fishing world. Our background gives us a unique view of what might otherwise be overlooked.     


We're both in our fifties. Is this the best part of our lives? We think so. We've worked hard to get here. Our kids are almost on their own, there's a little more time to think about where we go from here. Maybe one day we’ll figure out a way to make a living on our own terms but until then we'll keep grinding out the 9-to-5 struggling in the balance of what we have to do and what we want to do.


At the heart of our collaboration is the aim to add an earthly and lyrical dimension to the little moments of our daily lives and  blend in a bit of humor or a buoyant spin from time to time.  For now, we hope that somewhere in these pages, in our stories or in The Shed, you will find a few words, an image or an item that remind you to stop and enjoy the beauty in this world, in your life and to make every day an adventure.   In the sand, light and water is where we started, it’s where we’ll stay.

Mike Rice

Mike Rice, Mud Dog Saltwater Flies

His life has been a series of run-on sentences strung between the mountains and the sea collected with the hopes of someday  editing them into one good story, Carrying a fly rod, notebook and camera he rummages the mud and grass of the backwaters to fill the next page. 

Jill Mason

Jill Mason Art

She thrives at the water's edge, begrudgingly leaving it only when necessary, lost and found simultaneously in the scenes around her. She brings her artist's eye and passion for the water and captures images that convey the  colors, light and moods of coastal life.

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Sand, Light and Water

Marshfield, Massachusetts, United States

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Jill Mason Art

Jill Mason Art

Mud Dog Saltwater Flies

Mud Dog Saltwater Flies

Backwater Flats

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