Meet Mark and Nico
Born in 1966 in Frankfurt, Germany, Mark developed an early, intense interest in drawing and painting. In his early twenties, he gravitated toward Munich and set up shop in an abandoned liquor factory on an island in the heart of the city, where he turned his attention to sculpture, especially metal sculpture and performance art. But while he concentrated on his art career in Europe, he also found himself getting sucked more and more into his other passion, surfing.
Nico was born 1965 in Munich, Germany, and was drawn to the healing arts from a young age. She was nurturing a dual-career path, as both homeopathic healer and owner of a Yoga studio - but, as her concern for the health of the planet and its people began to grow, she found herself thinking more about Jungle living. The wealth of indigenous knowledge of tropical plants was a big lure, as was the dream to go to the place where the natural world was still intact - and where she could work to keep it that way.
During a trip in 2000, the couple found property on the Osa Peninsula, just down the beach from one of the area's four primary surfing breaks. "The timing was just perfect," says Nico. "It seemed as if someone, some higher power, just took us and put us there."
They began to build with collected driftwood and harvested bamboo. They built a small home, then other small shacks and an outdoor yoga platform. Soon they started offering Yoga classes to the public, Ticos and foreigners alike. All the while, Mark was developing his architectural design skills and building techniques, with a goal of creating structures entirely framed with bamboo.
Before long, the couples’ burgeoning development became their eco-lodge "Ojo del Mar," the Eye of the Sea. Nico and Mark were - and remain - determined to build and operate Ojo del Mar with an ethical consciousness: a mindfulness for human dignity, aesthetic beauty, and appreciation for the natural environment. Still thriving after nearly two decades, it remains grounded in Nico's holistic approach to caring for the environment, the local community and the individual-- whether through creating balanced, clean meals drawn from her gardens, sharing Yoga and other paths to healing, or - her great love! - talking passionately about rainforest life with her guests.