I visited Pacific Grove in early December, when, by coincidence, there was an atmospheric river bringing stormy weather to the Pacific Northwest. That same weather affected the ocean at Pacific Grove, resulting in bigger waves than I’d ever seen there—and I’ve been there many times.

I went out early in the morning to Lovers Point, a spot at the tip of the Monterey Peninsula where the waves crash against rocks at the shore. It was heavily overcast, and raining off and on, which was perfect for photographing crashing waves with lots of white water that I didn’t want to overexpose.

Here are a few of the shots from that day.

I had my camera on continuous mode and watched through the viewfinder as the waves crashed. I was trying to capture the entire span of the wave breaking on the rocks. Problem is, when you do that, and stay there, some waves are so large that water splashes over the retaining wall, and you get wet. This is what that looks like a split-second before you get soaked.

Later that morning, I saw this car parked at the seashore. Made me think of the Temptation song, My Girl: “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.”

Ocean View Drive in Pacific Grove is always a great spot to capture seascapes, but this day was special.