It’s no secret. Mexico is a photographer’s dream, a living kaleidoscope of rich traditions, food, art, and people. The colonial city of Merida, Yucatan, is a place where the elongated drawl of Yucatecan Spanish sounds much like my native Mississippi tongue. Enough to call Yucatan home for four years and counting. In this time, I’ve witnessed unparalleled beauty found in the most unlikely of places. I swam in water a shade of blue that I could’ve never fathomed. I danced on rooftops to the soaring rhythm of a single jarana guitar. And often I found myself in the grit of a southern Yucatecan pueblo, frozen and in complete awe of humans who exhibit pure joy and humility despite their living in such disparaging poverty.
My camera has been a vessel for so many of the relationships that I hold dear. For the few moments before photographing someone, I see their most vulnerable selves. Those few moments are the closest thing to magic I’ve ever experienced. Through language barriers and moments of utter unclarity, photography has allowed me to connect with what I care about most -- la gente y sus historias. Photography is the language for all the things I don’t have words for.
Each photograph is a relationship represented, irreplaceable moments between photographer and subject. Each photograph is a tiny piece of me; Anaïs Nin says, we don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are. For all of the self-forming experiences, grand adventures, and belly laughs over the last few years, it is the living Maya in Yucatan to whom I am most grateful. Their stories are the reason why I will never stop searching for lo maravilloso.