The houses always seemed so detached from everywhere else, set back against the Mantoloking beach and away from Route 35, close but distant in spirit.
The thousands of tourists who pass by them each day, during the summer, could barely see anything beyond the giant bushes that stand between them and the front door.
Over the past month, however, and since Hurricane Sandy hit, those same houses have become a bit too visible, while Route 35 has virtually disappeared.
Few towns were hit as hard, or harder, than Mantoloking, and its adjacent towns. Few have been able to get as close as Jeff Childers did, photographing a community where fires burned long after the winds of the storm died down.
Now, the people will try to pick up the broken pieces of a community that always seemed too distant from tragedies like this.
Over the past month, some of those exclusive houses have been in the water. Or they were smashed, boarded-up and tilted on their sides. Some debris of a demolished house even ended up on the Mantoloking Bridge.
A new inlet even formed where the Atlantic Ocean breached into the Barnegat Bay, leaving a sliver of a sandbar in between the two.
Route 35, meanwhile, has looked like it did in the 19th century, with sand covering it from side to side.
Here are some of the photos that Jeff Childers, a local land agent, took of the devastation.