Born at Cradock in the Midlands Karoo and educated at Outeniqua High School, George and Rhodes University, Estelle lectured mainly at Fort Hare and Rhodes University and the University of North West, Mahikeng. Through her roots going back generations of sheep Karoo sheep farmers and continued contact with the Karoo and drier regions of South Africa, she has been emotionally, aesthetically and inspirationally rooted in the visual atmosphere stimulus of the landscapes. She never tires from exploring them; always learning from them.
Marais has had 17 Solo Exhibitions, participated in more than 180 group shows and small shows and has exhibited in Hyderabad, India, Paris, France and Windhoek as part of a selected South African landscape art exhibitions. Her works have been bought by collectors on 6 Continents and are in several institutional and governmental collections.