Sometimes the rush of a life lived on the fringes offers an undeniable siren call. The confines of a daily grind feel like a forfeiture of precious time — so bold adventurers decide to break free, reach out into the unknown, and embrace the path less traveled. Danya Schwertfeger heard this siren’s song and barreled towards it. He’s a Mad One.
Schwertfeger was born in Switzerland, and lived in four different countries before he hit his teenage years. A walk on the beach with his father pushed him toward a career in photography and videography, but at first he was reluctant to embrace the globe-trotting life. He tried to live with the nine to five, but the call of adventure was just too loud to ignore.
Now, Schwertfeger whiles away his days as a surf photographer while living out of his van in Portugal. His devotion to his art and vagabond lifestyle has enriched his world immensely. We sat down with Schwertfeger for a chat about what it’s like to become a professional photographer in the age of Instagram and the joys of the van life.