Exclusive Resorts member DJ Brooks happened upon photography via mountain biking. After building a career as an equity derivatives trader in Asia, and working in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and London, he lived an adrenaline-filled life with financial rewards yet growing stress. So, he “checked out at a young age and got into investing in early-stage start-ups,” he recalls. “My father died at a young age and I was determined to enjoy life.”
After tackling mountain climbing, adventure racing, IRONMAN events, and mountain biking, he started competing in global races. During a mountain bike race in South Africa, a wildebeest ran alongside him—a pivotal and memorable moment furthering his passion for wildlife. And while training for a race in Bariloche, Argentina, Brooks and his teammate—who happened to be a talented photographer—would test their endurance by day and then train their cameras on various landscapes by night. “That trip was the impetus for my passion for photography. I’m normally a very analytical person. Photography has brought out an artistic side I didn’t know existed.” These days, he adds, “You will rarely find me without a camera.” In 2018, he took more than 10,000 photos. Here’s some of his finest.