By Crystal Chung @crystalkchung

EVER wondered what the ocean waves look like from beneath the surface?

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Waves of beauty: The photographer captures an image close to the beach in South Africa

Surfer and photographer Marck Botha took the following series of breathtaking seascapes of waves rising and crashing in South Africa to show the formations from above and below the surface.

Marck, 33, is a pro when it comes to capturing unique pictures of the ocean - but the process itself is not easy with the adventurous snapper often having to track the forecasts months in advance.

Foamy: A foaming wave meets the shore to create an incredible photo

He said: “The process starts days or weeks before, by checking and tracking the charts. 

"When the conditions line up, I am up well before sunrise to get all my gear ready and to be in the water before the sun rises. 

Sunrise: Looking out of a very wide wave at a misty sunrise over the desert

“For trips like the photograph of Skelton bay, the planning and tracking of the forecasts starts months before, this is followed by two days of travelling, 4x4ing through the dessert, to a wave in the middle of nowhere."

The self-employed South African has been surfing and travelling up and down the coast for over 20 years, and has a vast knowledge of the country’s coastline and which spots are most favourable under certain conditions.   

Marck said: “There is a very small window when the lighting is ideal just after sunrise and just before sunset. 

Surf's up: The 28-year-old captures the colours and formations of the waves as they rise and fall

“It's called the golden hour, but its more like golden moments. I like to be in the water a couple of minutes before the sun breaks so that I’m in position as it all comes together. 

“Shooting with only a fish eye I have to be extremely close to the action, and the photographs often look further away then I actually am. 

Foam crashes over a washed up log at sunrise

"Swimming in big surf and strong currents, it can be challenging to be perfectly in position and close enough to the action that is required for my fish eye lens."

But for Marck the challenge is part of the reward.

The self-employed South African has been surfing and travelling up and down the coast for over 20 years, and has a vast knowledge of the coastline

He said: “My favourite part about taking photographs in the ocean, is when all the condition line up and my adrenaline is pumping while swimming around in liquid mountains. 

"I enjoying testing my boundaries to try and capture the best angle. It can get a little hair-raising when the unpredictability of the ocean catches you in the wrong place, but it normally just adds to the excitement.

While many of Botha's images capture a truly recognisable scene, he often creates an other-worldy pattern like beautiful blown glass

“I also love playing with how the sunlight bends and reflects off the water at different angles. 

“It's also very rewarding to be able to share my pictures with my growing following base on social media.”

The combination of the surf's beauty, being immersed in nature and the raw power of the ocean keep bringing Botha back

You can check out more of Marck’s work on his website - http://www.marckbothaphoto.com - or follow him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/marckbothaphoto/