The Beauty of the Ugly
The only way to reach Sea Rim State Park is by traversing a five mile stretch of land on which large oil refineries dominate the view. You can't look at them and feel they're a positive addition to the views they so harshly interrupt, yet their very existence made possible the world as we know it today.
With the discovery that oil could be used to create energy came the complete restructuring of human societies. The world became connected and life became easier, but as is always the consequence of change, it came at a cost. Sometimes, there is only one path forward and you either take the risk or you stagnate. Once on the other side, you can look back on the destruction behind you and learn from it. New technologies will hopefully open a less destructive path forward, but we shouldn't forget what allowed us to make this leap into the present.
As we were driving through the oil refineries, I was thinking about how such a cold and dead place could have its own strange sense of beauty. It's a place of straight lines and minimal color. A place where humanity has left an ugly yet impressive mark on the landscape. It's an environment that would lend itself well to a photographic expedition. The magic of photography is that as you look through the lens, you might find something you never expected.