We got the chance to interview Martin Sung, a newcomer to van life with a fresh perspective. Martin reminds us why vans are the ultimate mode of travel for those that like to embrace spontaneity and get off the beaten path. As a photographer and fan of national parks, van life provides him with the freedom to capture outstanding natural landscapes at the most beautiful times, like sunrise and sunset.
Martin shares travel photography tips, discusses the importance of Leave No Trace ethics, explains how he chose his Storyteller Overland van, and more. Keep reading to get to know the man behind the lens and see a few of his photographs.
All Photography By Martin Sung
Rec Van: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Martin Sung: I am a digital nomad who enjoys overlanding and capturing nature’s beauty in hopes of inspiring others to get out in nature. I’m based out of the greater Atlanta, GA area. New to vanlife and photography. Father of two dogs named Harley and Mila.
RV: How did you get introduced to vanning? What does your current lifestyle look like?
MS: It all started with overland road trips to national parks in my Toyota 4Runner. As much as I love my 4Runner, it has its limitations and I always wished that I could work and explore for longer periods of time. It was a natural progression of graduating to a van that could accommodate a more sustainable setup.
My girlfriend Christen has also been part of the van life since day one. She’s awesome at making sure that we have endless wet wipes and candy on our trips. She drives the van like a boss and makes driving long hours a breeze.
RV: What kind of van do you have and how did you choose it?
MS: 2022 Storyteller Overland Stealth Mode on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 144 wheelbase chassis. I chose the Sprinter chassis specifically due to its 4×4 and off-roading abilities. I wanted a vehicle that could take me further into the wilderness and explore the trails. I chose to go with Storyteller Overland because I identify with the company’s mission and values, the attention to detail in the build quality, and due to the enormous 13kwh Volta battery system!
RV: What is your favorite part of van life?
MS: My favorite part of van life is the freedom it allows me to explore, learn, and grow. There is a sense of happiness that I only feel when I am on the road. It’s the mixed feelings of uncertainty and excitement about what is beyond the horizon.
RV: What is the most challenging part of traveling in a van?
MS: Besides the obvious things like finding a secluded place to sleep, emptying my gray tank, and disposing of waste properly, the most challenging part of traveling in a van is witnessing littering at campsites and defaced natural structures at national parks. We can do better. Leave no trace!
RV: Tell us more about your photography!
MS: I have been primarily a nature photographer for the past 2 years and I shoot with a Canon R5. I enjoy landscape and astrophotography.
RV: Do you have any tips for people who want to level up their travel photography game?
MS: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I’ve learned so much from strangers. It’s a close-knit community and all the adventure photographers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting have been the most amazing humans. It takes a lot of heart to wake up for the sunrise and/or capture the sunset out in the wilderness. We get it!
RV: Tell us a bit about the people you meet on your travels. How do you create a sense of community while you’re on the road?
MS: It’s very easy to make friends on my travels, especially when riding around in a Storyteller Overland van. I am humbled by all the compliments and random people walking up to talk about the van. Most of the time I hear, “it’s my dream to get a camper van just like that one day.” It warms my heart every time, and I truly wish for them to keep pursuing their dream. It’s totally worth it!
RV: What are three of your favorite destinations in the U.S. and why?
MS: Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming for the most epic mountain range and landscapes. Badlands National Park in South Dakota because it feels like a different planet. Big Sur, California for the most beautiful coastal driving experience.
RV: What’s next for you?
MS: Driving from Georgia to Alaska with my Storyteller Overland to explore all the national parks and reach the Arctic! Also, following the Milky Way for epic photographs!
Check out more of Martin’s photography and follow his travels on Instagram.Then give our IG a visit at @myrecvan.
Ready to embark on your van life adventure? Visit Rec Van to browse a wide variety of new and used camper vans from the best companies in the business, including Storyteller Overland.