Sunset at Waimea River in Kauaʻi

A Sky of Color

Sunset at Waimea River in Kauaʻi

The setting sun reflects off the water as the Waimea River meets the Pacific Ocean on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi.

After we had visited Waimea Canyon during our 2018 Kauaʻi trip, we spent a little more time in the area before driving back to our hotel. As it turns out, we ended up being there pretty late in the day, so we decided to take some time to watch the sunset over the water.

We ended up at the location where the Waimea River that flows through the canyon we had just visited reaches the end of the island and flows out into the ocean. In fact, just across on the other side of the riverbank was where Captain James Cook first landed 240 years earlier, in 1778. That must mean it is a good spot, right?

The sand on the bank of the river where we were standing was black sand, which was really neat to see. It looks black in this photo not just because it was starting to get dark outside, but rather because it was actually black.

As the sun was going down, waves were washing over a sandbar at the mouth of the river. Some of the local children were enjoying being pushed by the waves on their skim boards across the sandbar and then flipping over into the water. You can see them just below the sun in the photo. They were laughing and enjoying themselves, and they waved to us as we were watching them.

Sunset at Waimea River in Kauaʻi

As the sun was reaching its lowest point before dropping behind the horizon, the children had left, leaving us out there by ourselves with the water and the waves and the clouds. Yes, there was a small town just to the right of the frame, but it seemed miles away from where we were. 

We had a great view of that evening’s sunset show. And what a show it was. Sunsets are always fantastic, but sunsets over the water are even more special to those of us who do not usually get to see that.


I love the beauty of God’s creation in nature. You can see it everywhere: forests, mountains, rivers, streams, deserts, canyons, your own backyard. But to me one of His most wonderful creations is sunset.

With sunsets, you might have the sky above you changing from a light-blue or light-purple color to a deep blue to black, all right there in front of you. Or you might have the sun turning some clouds all different shades of pink, purple, and orange. And then, as bright as everything had been, it gradually all turns dark. But that darkness does not last forever, because a few hours later the sun reappears on the other side of the sky.

For me, sunsets represent rest, a chance to slow down, relax, and even sleep for a while. Sunsets also represent a chance at a new beginning the next day. It is God’s way of saying, “Take a break, get some rest, and then start back over again tomorrow. This day is ending, tomorrow is coming. Get ready and make it great!”

Whenever you get a chance, take some time to enjoy the beauty of the sunset around you. And then get some rest and be ready for what lies ahead!

Bible Verse

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. - Psalm 65:8

About the Photos

It probably goes without saying, but the two photos above were taken with different lenses on the camera. I liked both views, so as the sun was setting I kept switching back and forth between lenses. Maybe I should have taken my advice above and should have just enjoyed it. But I suppose I was enjoying it in my own way.

The first photo was with the fisheye lens. The second photo was with the 14-42mm zoom lens. I wanted to be able to zoom in on the sandbar just a bit while still keeping much of the sky and the sun in the frame. But I also wanted to capture some of the black sand beach, and that is why I used the fisheye lens as well. 

Two different photos, taken just a few minutes apart, at the same location, and with different lenses. Photography can be fun!

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus 14-42mm IIR and Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: July 6, 2018
Location: Waimea, Hawaiʻi

2018 Kauai Trip Report