NAPLES, Fla. — Beaches are still closed to the public at this time in Naples.
But the city has been clearing sand to make conditions safe for residents when it’s time for them to return.
Access to the Naples pier was closed Sunday morning and all beaches in Naples and Collier county remain closed at this time.
Naples police say this is because there are a number of potential hazards still hidden under the water and sand in the aftermath of hurricane Ian.
These hazards are glass, metal, wood, and plastic which could be hard for people to see on the beach.
Police are also warning that because of water washing back into the gulf from places where it normally isn’t, there could also be toxins and harmful bacteria in the water.
There was also significant erosion with sand ending up in downtown streets during the storm.
But that hasn't stopped Phil Zoltek, an artist on the beach, from making the destruction his muse.
“I’ve got the before and what it looks like in all of its beauty, and now I’ve got what I call the broken pier," says Zoltek.
He hopes to document the broken pier through his canvas, as it rebuilds.
“I’ve seen this growth, this rebirth, this coming out of the ground - the phoenix rising," he explains.
It's a place with special significance for him and many neighbors that he's met along the way.
“It’s just a blessing to have those friendships that transfer from the sand onto the cement, so to speak," he says.
“The foundation of this is so strong that even with this damage it still has that intrinsic beauty. It still has character. It still has something that makes you come back.”
WATCH NOW | Artist paints broke Naples Pier