Self-proclaimed daydreamer, collector, mermaid, tea enthusiast, lover of nature, and gypsy soul, Risa Marie has captured the eyes and hearts of many through her inspiring collection of nature-filled photos on her social media platforms. How exactly did she get to where she is? The dynamic and alluring blogger lets us in on her life, beginning with a tiny Northern California town, to the serene Hawaiian Island of Maui, where she currently resides.
Picture a hand-built dome home in Comptche, California, a town with a population of 159. Inside the home are Risa and her parents, constantly surrounded by nature, lives void of many common material possessions. “When I was growing up, we never had a TV, computers, or really any electronics so I was ‘forced’ to go play outside, go hiking and climb trees to entertain myself,” Risa explains. “Back then it seemed like torture but as I have gotten older, I’ve realized that spending so much time in nature as a child has really made me the person that I am today.” Time alone has always comforted Risa and provides her with the mental space to think and dream, while land and sea have been ever-present soothing elements throughout her life.
At eighteen years old, shortly after graduating high school, Risa decided to take a leap of faith into the Pacific Ocean, landing on Maui. “Life on an island is… interesting,” she says. “Don’t get me wrong, it is amazing in its own ways but it can also be incredibly challenging. Island fever: the longer you live on an island, the smaller it gets.” However, despite this setback, Risa stays on the islands for their inimitable beauty and down-to-earth feel. “Hawaii life is also incredibly humbling. It has taught me respect on a whole new level, which unfortunately is something that a lot of people seem to forget these days.”
An insatiable yearning to see every corner of the globe inspires Risa to see more and do more. “I feel the constant pull to travel and explore the world, and I just know that eventually that pull will get the best of me. For now I am bartending nights at a very popular Irish pub, and I am blessed to have such an incredible group of coworkers there who have slowly but surely become more like family then anything else.”
Calm and constantly working towards reaching an equilibrium, Risa’s energy reflects the whimsical disposition of nature. “I am a very spiritual person and nature really is my temple. I think that finding your balance is the most important thing in life.” Even in the challenges life has sent her way, she sees less-than-positive experiences as opportunities to grow. “Relationships have been a huge part of my past that have changed me, but instead of blaming these men for treating me poorly, I choose to thank them for helping me become the woman that I am today. As much as heartbreak hurts, it strengthens us, and readies us for the obstacles ahead.”
While she attributes her feminine strength to a multitude of women she has looked up to, including her mother, teachers and friends, Risa is undoubtedly a role model for women herself. She is empowered to live a positive life on her own terms — the epitome of the modern woman. To young women she preaches, “Be strong. Do not be afraid to express yourself. Be inspired, but take pride in originality. Hold your head high, tomorrow is a new day. Be honest, be positive and be kind. When you empower others, you empower yourself and in turn that will make you the most gorgeous version of yourself.”
By Alexis Kaneshiro
Swimsuit: Planet Blue
Jewelry: MAC Designs
Shorts: One Teaspoon
Flannel: Wings Hawaii
Bikini bottom: Montce
Top and skirt: Spell and the Gypsy Collective