Montauk Love: Why I Hate Valentines Day…

The Shop, Onken's World

I hate Valentine’s Day.

I know what you might be thinking. He’s alone and jealous and bitter. That’s not what I’m trying to say. To me, Valentine’s Day feels like a forced day of obligation. A day where the institution says that we have to be romantic, plan something special, and show our love with gifts and chocolate and flowers. I’d be wrong to assume that this is what it is for everyone, but in past years, I’ve witnessed it over and over, and I’ve felt it myself, too.

Am I the only one, or do other couples out there feel that way too?

I believe sharing and spreading our love should happen all the time.

Maybe it’s the hopeless romantic in me that believes romance actually still exists, or maybe it’s the the plague of Hollywood. Either way, it’s a standard I hold in my own heart.

While I haven’t found her yet, I aim to find someone who will create that ongoing romance with me. She will be my adventure partner, co-creating a life of love, romance, and adventure. She’s a best friend, a lover, and a life partner. She has the spark, the charisma, and the depth. I inspire her as much as she inspires me. She’s motivated, with a refined eye for creative taste. I trust she’s out there.

Deep down, I believe love and romance is something we get to create, especially when we are truly in love with the other person. When you’re both in it to win it, you’ll work it out and create those movie moments.

What if Valentine’s Day was organically practiced all of the time, rather than celebrated one day a year?

This video, Montauk Love, is exactly an example of that. Talk about an inspiring couple! My friends Zach & Kelly take the cake on this one. Warning: you may want to vomit at how ridiculously cute they are together by the end of this video. But honestly, if I could picture my dream relationship it would be in this little motion picture.

My buddy Zach is a super smart strategy designer and restauranteur who owns a lobster shack in an airstream trailer on the beach in Montauk called TURF. He’s a bad ass surfer and all around inspiring dude.

Kelly, who you might also know as The Glamourai, has a charisma and self assurance that is magnetic. She is vibrant and a joy to be around, uber creative and a driven business woman.

This video, straight out of a depiction of a day in their life, shows their refined taste for style and how they curate their dream relationship. Everything you see in the video is all of their own elements. Their chemistry is exactly who they are every day (even though they have their battles, I’m sure). Just being with them for two days inspired the hell out of me to find that same synergy.

My good friend/videographer, Sarah Tyler, and I put together this collaboration as a personal project. I shot stills and directed, while she DP’d and then edited, of which she did an amazing job. We both walked away from the two day adventure slightly obsessed, and completely inspired in our own lives.

So let me ask you this: are you looking for someone to fill a lonely hole or are you looking for someone to create a beautiful life with? If you’re in a relationship, are you creating a beautiful synergy or living in obligation? What inspires you in a relationship or in a significant other?

View the full visual essay here.

2013 Zach & Kelly: Montauk Love

2013 Zach & Kelly: Montauk Love

2013 Zach & Kelly: Montauk Love

2013 Zach & Kelly: Montauk Love


Leave A Comment


  • Lindsay

    A beautiful video and a beautiful couple!

    • admin_nick

      Thank you! Happy Valentines Day!

  • C

    Like yourself, “if I could picture my dream relationship it would be in this little motion picture”.
    They are a über-cute couple indeed, and I don’t even know them.
    I belive the link to the still gallery isn’t working…
    Can you please confirm?
    Have a nice Valentine and thanks for this really inspirational love story!

    • admin_nick

      Thank you for your comment! They are an inspiring couple right? Yeah, I just checked and the still gallery IS working. Happy Valentines Day!

  • valentines » stephanie mcbride

    […] ladies. Happy Valentines Day to those who love this day. For the rest of you, here’s a little Nick Onken […]

  • Nita

    For me it always have been an immature holiday. Great for teenagers that felt something for the first time ( that they often mistake with ‘greatest love’). It is so exciting for them to discover something new, something that feels so good that they want the whole world to now. If they could they would go up the biggest hill and scream. Instead they set cute facebook status and buy all the gadgets.
    They want the big bears, heart chocolates and red roses. That’s their idea of love.
    Here, have a card. I bought you this lollipop to show you that I like you. It wasn’t expensive so I won’t regret it next week when I will start going out with the girl form history class. That’s how I define Valentines day and the main reason why I hate it so much.

    For some weird reason it is wrong for a single person to say that they hate it. But for me being single has nothing to do with it. If you are happy in a relationship you won’t probably notice this day as your everyday life will be filled with passion and love. You may buy a thousand roses, fanciest chocolates and the best champagne but that won’t change anything. It won’t create something that’s not there.

    I think that you can notice if the couple is happy with the first glance. It was easy to observe in this adorable movie. They could not hug once, not kiss at all and you would still be able to see their love. It is all in the eyes, how they look at each other. At first it makes your heart melt, and then you realize there is one who would give you that look full of passion. That makes people jealous.

    I truly believe that deep inside we are all hopelessly romantic. Sadly in today’s word such believes are thought to be naive so people try to forget about them, they push them into the deepest corners of their souls but they are still there.
    We all want the romance but we are busy, lazy and some of us are just scared so we often set for something that is not quite right.

    It is incredibly hard to find someone with whom we can share passion, someone who we can call a true love, but modern word came a solution that ‘works ‘ for many other aspects of life. There is no time for finding the right one so it is better to fake it instead, and that’s when valentines day comes handy.
    If you think about it more it is actually really depressing and sad.

    Sorry for such a long comment, I guess it is not something you expected or wanted but you asked for it!

    • admin_nick

      Nita, Thanks for your comment, and I feel your point resonates with what I was talking about. Valentines day is, like you said a fake love day. A day of obligation if you will, which is why I “Hate” it. Not for the sake of missing out on something. I don’t really “Hate” it, but I more so just don’t think it’s worth having a holiday over. Love is something that we have for each other and romance is inspired out of that, and it should be inspired and integrated into life, not on just one day of the year. That said, Happy Valentines Day! 🙂

  • C

    Yes, really inspiring…but you tell me, you know them, I can only follow their work/ social media life… What strikes me the most is realizing how much kelly’s work/ blog has changed since they are together. It’s amazing! I guess zack really inspires her too…

  • C

    Ps: meanwhile, i’ve seen the photos! Amazing also! 😀

  • Daisy

    The editing, filters, tones, and song choice: all awesome! Really appreciate all the work you guys put into this!

  • stephanie mcbride

    I don’t know how my link showed up on your comment section but your thank you on my blog made my entire year! You have such a generous, kind and grateful soul and your philosophy on life is as beautiful as the images you create. Thank you Nick for being a constant source of inspiration!

  • Glenda Delgado

    What a beautifully done video! Love Kelly too 🙂