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Saturday, June 10, 2023

To simply take a walk with Sean Rozycki is impossible. Instead of going for a casual stroll, you’re more likely to take a series of disjointed strides  punctured with many starts and stops.

That’s because every half city block or so, he’ll crouch unannounced or freeze and twist his body to get that perfect shot that most people would pass by, unnoticed.

“You’ll never find someone more passionate about photography,” he said.

Locals may know the 24-year-old as the pierced and tattooed metalhead behind the bar of Mars Pub and Laser Tag. If they don’t recognize him from that, they may know him as the organizer of the Silver Q pool league.

It’s likely they’ve also noticed him with his Nikon D90.

His love for photography goes back to childhood. His mother was a shutterbug and being around her planted the seeds for a budding interest in everything to do with cameras.

Growing up in Stuart, Fla., Rozycki attended Martin County High School, which offered an intensive photography program.

He signed right up.

But that first semester, he was more interested in working on his skateboarding technique, for which he was starting to gain some real recognition around town — until his teacher took him aside and said he had a talent that shouldn’t be wasted.

After that, he said he got 100s on every assignment.

 “I slowly realized my style and passion,” he said.

He graduated and moved to Gainesville in 2006, trying to escape the heartbreak of a marriage engagement broken by infidelity. Photography took a backseat to skating and living life.

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He almost got a sponsorship and went pro, but a lack of resources sent that opportunity south. After a series of bad luck and tough times, he fell into a depression and started drinking — a lot.

He floated through life without direction until, fed up with his situation, he focused on quitting his bad habits and saved money to buy a Nikon D40.

Behind the lens, he remembered why he loved photography in the first place.

These days, Rozycki can be found walking the streets of downtown, camera in hand, collecting shots, which can be seen at, and working toward his goal of becoming a photo novelist.

“People pass by everyday things and don’t appreciate them and I’m not yelling at them for it,” he said, “I’m photographing it so they have a chance to see it.”

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