As each summer day draws to a close, visitors and residents alike come to the beauty of the setting sun.

What You Need To Know

  • Trevor Bystrom is a musician on the Anna Maria City Pier

  • He says he loves the music and the lifestyle of Anna Maria Island in Manattee County

  • His father was a fisherman, and he grew up on the water

“There’s nothing like it," said musician Trevor Bystrom. "I call this my church.” 

Every Wednesday evening he sits at the end of the Anna Maria City Pier, looking out over the wide-open waters.

“Like, the water's different every single day,” he said. “Sometimes, you can see it like right now. Sometimes the storms come over the water and you can see these beautiful fronts.”

He says the people on the pier, much like the water, are always different.

“You got tourists, you got locals, and they are all vibing together," Bystrom said. "And you got little kids dancing."

For Bystrom, building on the good vibes all starts a few minutes away, at a cozy recording studio located in an island business center. He produces and engineers what he records here, and uses percussion instruments from around the world.

“I can be really creative when I work with new stuff,” he said.

But this seeker of world sounds and collaborator with international artists says he is an islander through and through.

“It’s been so hard for me to ever want to leave this place,” said Bystrom. “I’ve never found a town that has the magic of the island.”

For starters, Bystrom plays music on a pier and his grandfather has fished for nearly a century. This is where his family still lives and where the world comes to visit.

And even better, it’s where the next island generation sits before him, a 9-month-old son named Waylor.

“I just start playing and sometimes just stop singing, like, OK, I can’t sing right now, I’m just taking it all in,” he said. “It’s enough to choke me up sometimes.”