According to Karel van Mander he learned to paint landscapes in Mechelen, which was known as a center for oil and water-colours and especially landscape painting. At the time of the Beeldenstorm in 1566 he left town with Lucas van Valckenborch and they made a trip from Luik to Aachen along the Meuse (river), painting river valley views. When William the Silent turned against the Spanish, they returned to the Netherlands, where they made many small clever pieces that sold well.
Marten then moved to Frankfurt, where he later had sons who also became good painters.
He was registered in Antwerp in 1565, Aachen in 1566-1573, back in Antwerp in the years 1584-1585, and Frankfurt from 1586 onwards.