In a recently published article that celebrates the work of acclaimed American photographer Robert McCabe, The Telegraph presents Mykonos and Santorini as captured through his lens during the pre-tourism era. “Few places have become synonymous with the scourge of ‘overtourism’ quite like Santorini and Mykonos,” the article writes.
“Millions of sunseekers crowd onto the shores of these tiny Greek islands each year for an orgy of pouting and posing in the pursuit of social media ‘likes’ and fleeting public validation. But it wasn’t always thus, as these photographs by veteran US photographer and Greece aficionado Robert McCabe reveal,” it continues.
Titled “The Most Beautiful Islands in Greece, Before the Instagram Crowds Ruined Them,” the article presents a visual journey through a very different time, and includes telling quotes by McCabe, in which his interesting and profound impressions of his subjects are shared.
“When I first visited Santorini with my brother in 1954, we were the only foreigners on the island,” said McCabe, now 88. “There was no airport and no electricity. To call the outside world you had to queue to use the island’s only telephone and water didn’t come from a tap, it was delivered by a man on an old four-wheeled carriage.”
The selection of chiefly black-and-white images focuses mostly on the local lifestyle, traditions and characters living on Santorini and Mykonos in a period when the now notoriously overcrowded Cycladic islands were still culturally homogenous and untouched by mass tourism