SDM is a family business, run primarily by Eli Martinez and his wife, Maritza Martinez. The goals of our company are simple, “to share with the world how important and beautiful our ocean's animals are, and to help dispel the shark myth.” ~ which is the belief that sharks are mindless monsters.
Our company, based in South Texas, began life as a publishing company. We published the first issue of Shark Diver Magazine in March of 2003. Over an 8 year period, we published a total of 25 issues of SDM. During that time, we also organized expeditions to various places around the world to dive with different species of sharks, crocodiles, sailfish and whales.
Sadly the last issue of SDM was published in 2012. We recognized that social media was taking over the world and a quarterly magazine just could not keep up with the speed of story telling on today's social media platforms. However, we also discovered the benefits of social media. We could now connect daily with our readers and share all the latest news involving sharks and the ocean in real time.
So we decided it was best to do away with publishing our paper magazine and focused our attention on the two areas we truly enjoyed. Story telling...using platforms like; youtube for video blogs, facebook, instagram and Twitter. And of course our favorite, connecting with people in the real world, by organizing expeditions and taking them to beautiful places to encounter amazing animals.
Giving back to to these animals is very important to us, so along with helping to dispel the shark myth via our social media outlets, we also spend a lot of time visiting schools, sharing with them the plight of sharks and the other side of these amazing animals. Through the years we have shared this important message with thousands of young minds. Our dream is to expand this grassroots effort of visiting schools. Not just to our area, but around the world and with the help of our shark loving friends, we will reach our goal of a million minds.
MEET THE TEAM
(Owner / Operator)
Eli has become a formidable entity in the shark diving community, pushing and changing what is known about sharks and the way sharks are seen. He is also no stranger to the dangers posed by extreme sports or big animals, having spent 6 years as a rodeo bull rider...
His love for animals and nature is where his heart truly lies and dispelling “shark myths” is his life's work.
He has spent countless hours under the sea interacting with different shark species and has logged over a thousand tiger and lemon shark dives, studying their behavior, trying to discover their true nature.
He has worked as a host/cameraman/ safety diver for; Discovery Channel's, Shark Week, Animal Planet, National Geographic, CNN, Outdoor Channel and NBC's The Today Show, as well as various documentaries, newspapers and magazines around the world. The "High Fiving a Shark" image has been seen by more than 40 million people worldwide. Image by Paul Spielvogel. The latest TV project is with Nat Geo Wild, due to air this July 2017.
(Co-Owner / Operator)
Every wonder who was on the other side of your emails? Meet Maritza, the first person you will encounter in the SDM family. From responding to your emails, to arranging your trips, transfers, hotels...etc. She provides the help you need to ensure your trip is a success and headache free. When she is not in the office helping organize the trips, she is with you, out there, co-hosting the expedition with Eli. Stay updated with her instagram, and check out all the latest adventures.
David is the latest addition to our team. Currently working this season as a Scuba Instructor and Shark Feeder at Phantom Divers, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, honing his skills as a dive guide. He officially joined our team in January 2014. Helping us to lead SDM expeditions whenever he wasn’t off on his own adventures. He worked this past season (2015) as a cameraman / safety diver for the Outdoor Channel’s TV series, Blue Water Savages. You can follow David's adventures on his Instagram and Facebook account.
SDM's newest member... Sophia "Waterbug" Martinez
Born with a deep love for the ocean and all it's creatures. Except for jellyfish, she learned the hard way, she does not like jellyfish. Sophia spends her year, helping to crew SDM’s expeditions. We began bringing her with us on the boat, during the summer, when she was 5 years old. It was those first adventures that sparked Sophia's passion for wildlife. She decided pretty quickly that she wanted to become a wildlife photographer, specializing in underwater photography. So we decided to home school her and bring her on the road with us full time. She became a certified diver at the age of 11 certified diver and has been a waterbug ever since... she has swam with wild dolphins, humpback whales, whale sharks, great hammerheads, sea lions, bull sharks and two species of sea turtles, with a goal of swimming with all 8 species. You can follow her adventures on her Youtube channel (Waterbug’s World.) , and instagram