(j/k...I'm just jealous)
Here's my recommendation for you: BRING LOTS OF
SUNBLOCK. I was down there in March several years ago, and it was friggin' hot as hell standing out there all day waiting for planes. But, thankfully, the Sunset Beach Bar sells cold........water and soda.
As for other shooting locations besides the beach, there are plenty of accessible locations around the airport perimeter. Since you've got some time, use it to explore the area. Check out some of the pictures from SXM
that are deeper in the a.net database and you'll see some insane photos taken from places other than the beach. I never had the time to go explore, but I wish I did. It's very easy to get around the airport perimeter, and I have never heard of a single person ever being harassed or questioned by anyone. However, just don't do anything stupid that you wouldn't do here in NYC (i.e., such as parking a rental car in a no parking zone on the side of a road).
Here's some ideas for pictures that I had been thinking about, even if others have done them before: (1) head-on departure shots from the other end of the airport; (2) departure shots from the mountain on the other side of the airport (this has been done, but there are so few pictures from this insane angle); (3) departure shots with the plane against the mountain background; (4) close-up touchdown shots from the beach; (5) shots of planes over the beach, taken from the water; (6) shots from the hotel(s) that line the edge of Maho Bay. I've never had the opportunity to do anything like this, but there are these possibilities and many more that you can choose from. Don't be put off by the recent threads by people bitching and moaning about how SXM
shots are boring...those people are losers and don't know what the hell they're talking about. SXM
is a fantastic place, with many different angles available for photography. You are going to love your trip to paradise!