Camille Kostek has shot at several gorgeous destinations over the years as a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, but this year’s locale holds a special place in her heart.
“Shooting in St. Croix this year for the destination is like my world’s colliding because my mom’s actually from the [US] Virgin Islands and my mom’s sister Camille, who I’m named after, still lives out in the Virgin Islands,” Kostek told The Post Thursday in celebration of her new role as Chief Wellness Officer for Rowdy Energy‘s Power Burn line of beverages.
“I was so familiar with the beaches and even some of the people, and the locals and a lot of the spots that we went to. I constantly was checking myself, ‘Am I here to visit family, or am I here with Sports Illustrated?’”
For her 2022 shoot, Kostek was photographed aboard a boat — which was a challenge in itself.
“I’ve never shot for the issue on a boat, let alone, I don’t think I’ve ever done a photo shoot on a moving boat in the middle of the water,” she said. “There were times when there was a big gust of wind and the waters were a little rocky, but it was a challenge and I was up for it and knew it would make a memorable shoot, and the photos are probably some of my favorites that I’ve ever done.”
Though Kostek has appeared in five Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues — not to mention on the cover in 2019 — she’s “crossing [her] fingers already” in hopes of keeping her streak alive for 2023.
“You really never take for granted being a part of this team, and you’re very hopeful that you get the callback because you’re not promised, no matter how many times you’ve been in it, been on the cover, or whatever, you don’t know if you’re going to get that callback,” Kostek said.
“I’ve become so in love, so obsessed with the brand, everything that they stand for about breaking molds and disrupting this modeling industry with making waves, and creating history.”
Beyond Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, Kostek is staying busy this summer between her partnership with Rowdy Energy, which was recently announced this month. She is also the new host for the NBC competition series “Dancing with Myself.”
When she does have time to unwind, Kostek is savoring the moments with loved ones, including her pet dog Ralphie, whom she shares with her longtime boyfriend, NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski.
“On any day that I have off, I cannot wait to get home to my dog, so I plan on a lot of walks with my dogs, a lot of snuggles,” Kostek said. “Rob and I just had fun in Paris, and we were in Hawaii a couple of months ago, and that alone, doing two trips together in a matter of months, I think is the most we’ve done in years.”
Gronkowski, who played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the past two seasons, wrapped his 11th year in the league back in January. He has not yet made a decision regarding his return for the 2022 season.