Marissa Eckert is a passionate diving instructor, avid traveler and a spirited opportunist co-owning the Hidden Worlds Diving shop in Fort White, Florida, USA. She sold her belongings and moved to Florida to pursue her love of diving more than ten years ago, and now specializes in cave diving, rebreathers, sidemounts, and photography.
It’s no surprise that she has been the subject of several dive magazines, including X-Ray Mag, and featured with Aron Arngrimsson’s Dirty Dozen in Micronesia. Marissa is first and foremost a diving instructor. Her favorite courses to teach include CCR Cave and Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs), but she enjoys teaching beginner classes just as much, saying, “teaching a course like introduction to cave diving is very rewarding and amazing. It is so much fun to introduce divers to caves for the first time!” When she’s not teaching, Marissa spends her time traveling the globe exploring new places, hiking through the jungle, and pursuing stimulating new dives to foster her growth as a diver.
What (or who) persuaded you to become a professional diver?
The instant beauty and wonder I discovered when I did my first dive was all it took. I immediately knew I wanted to become an instructor so I could show this beautiful world to as many people as possible.
Describe the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in your career.
Being a woman in a male-dominated sport is definitely challenging. I am every bit as capable of carrying my tanks through the jungle, doing a dive to 300 or 400 feet, or attaining 8-10 hours of deco, but I feel sometimes women aren’t given those opportunities as easily as men.
Which diving achievement are you most proud of?
I am extremely proud to be a cave instructor and CCR instructor. I’m also very proud of my photography and of the recent opportunities I’ve been given to speak at international conferences in places like Sardinia and Portugal.
What was your first diving experience like?
I was on vacation in the Maldives. It was a discovery scuba dive right off the lagoon. I don’t recall seeing anything specific or substantial. I just remember being amazed, surfacing and saying I wanted to become a scuba instructor.
Why do you prefer rebreather?
A rebreather is just such a great tool that gives me time...time to enjoy the beauty around, whether that’s in a cave or the ocean, and also in photography, it’s an invaluable tool allowing more time to capture images.
What's your favorite diving gear?
My camera! It provides me with the opportunity to capture what I see and share it with the world, divers and non-divers alike!
What's your favorite diving spot?
I love cave diving...not any one particular cave, but caves all over the world. They are all so different and diverse.
19. 5.2020 The Scuba NewsLearn more >
Marissa Eckert, Shares Passion for Diving, Traveling and Gear.
8. 12. 2019 X-RAY MAGLearn more >
For the Love of Diving: Interview with Marissa Eckert.
3. 9. 2019 DEEPERBLUELearn more >
Cave Camp 2019: A Unique Event Bringing Cave Diving Enthusiasts Together.
28. 8. 2019 DIVELearn more >
Bringing Cave Diving Enthusiasts Together at Cave Camp 2019