By Tom Horton

This is a film about a remarkable couple, Mary Ada and Dwight Marshall, whose lives personify Chesapeake Bay’s waterman, seafood harvesting culture and history; also about the four children who chose to break with that tradition.

The film, like my 1996 book, An Island Out of Time, is both celebration and elegy for a place beset with rising sea levels and erosion, pollution and harvest restrictions, and young people seeking opportunities older generations of islanders never dreamed of—all this seen through the lens of the Marshall family of Smith Island.

The passing of any culture is on the one hand sad, especially one whose people are such a living, breathing expression of a unique region like Chesapeake Bay; but just as remarkable is how this tiny island and its families have persisted marching to their own drummer ten miles offshore within a day’s drive of some 50 million mainland Americans.