If it were afternoon, he could have been drunk or something. Probably sometime of some sort he wants to hide.
People don't often mess with me. I'm perhaps physically imposing to strangers and use fewer words. I'd probably have told him yes I can take photos and looked him up and down quietly, and he probably would have left then. I suppose later in life I may not be so much this way.
I did have a neighbor dress me down for setting up a tripod on "her" beach. She does it to everyone who spends time on her beach, so she was being consistent. Then she figured out I was her neighbor and was a completely more kind chatting with me but still wanted me to move along. Beach is a weird mix of private and public space based on colonial laws of a state we are not even part of now. I'd be allowed to duck hunt with a gun, but not photograph/relax, so most property owners usually err on the permissive side if you're not causing trouble.