Destroying Beauty

This picture shows a collection of trash left behind at the San Marcos River. This signature photo was taken close up to make the viewer feel uncomfortable, as if the trash is right there in their face. The trash is shadowed to signify the darkness of littering.

The destruction of nature is not an uncommon sight today. As populations and cities grow, so does the need for new housing and streets. This progress is often made by tearing down forests and other secluded spots of nature. The increase in population in an area can also lead to an increase in pollution. While some might see the growth and development of a city as a good thing, there are still those who believe that nature should take prevalence over progress.

San Marcos, being a college town, is prone to large bursts of growth and development. As Texas State University grows, so does the city. Currently, the city of San Marcos is in a bit of a transitional period. The city is under a lot of development, and is growing exponentially every year, though it is still retaining some of its small-town charm and qualities. However, as every year goes by more and more of the small-town charm is lost. Many San Marcos locals are unhappy about the growth of the city; they believe that what made San Marcos such a great place to live was the small-town charm and the abundance of beautiful nature around the river. It has been increasingly harder over the years to find secluded spots of nature here in San Marcos. Many of the parks and areas of recreation have become crowded, littered, and less natural.

That’s why this photo essay will capture the true beauty of the San Marcos area and show how the growth to the city is harming the surrounding nature. This project will consist of eight color photos that will depict the beauty and the harm done to the nature of San Marcos. These photos will not include any filters as the point of this photo essay is to show natural beauty. However, pictures will be captured at different times of the day, using the sun’s natural lighting to highlight certain areas. Most of the pictures will be wide establishing shots to capture the whole beauty of the area. The use of a signature photo of an area of nature that is littered will be used to show a contrast and to leave an impression on the viewer. The photo essay will be organized as a series of individual photos. At the end of the photo essay the viewer should feel a sense of attachment to nature.


This photo was taken at a wide shot to capture to whole beauty of this spot. The vectors from the branches of the trees lead the viewer’s eye towards the middle of the photograph where the water is calm and shaded, this is to leave a feeling of calmness and peace.

This photo was taken at a close up angle to make the viewer feel as if they are there. The juxtaposition of the leaves directly in front of the camera makes the viewer feel as if this spot is hidden off and they have to peek around the brush to appreciate the beauty of the river.

This photograph was taken as a wide shot to show the beauty in the background being tainted by the litter in the front. This photo was placed after the previous two to create a stark contrast in the viewer’s mind.The vectors from the tree roots lead the viewer’s eye toward the crushed up case of beer in the middle of the photograph. The littering of beer cans and cases is one of the biggest forms of pollution on the river, all along the river sights like this can be seen.

This photo was taken at a close up angle to build a connection with the viewer and the nature they are viewing. The morning sun is highlighting the greenness of the set of leaves in the middle. The branches around the top and sides, and the river at the bottom create a frame around the bright clump of leaves in the middle and draw in the viewer’s attention.

This photograph was taken as a wide shot to establish the whole beauty of the scenery. The afternoon sun creates a shade in the middle of the photograph, and the juxtaposition of the trees leads the viewer’s eye to the middle of the photograph just at the water’s edge. This is to create that feeling of a nice lazy Sunday afternoon on the river, a feeling that could go away without the proper care and treatment.

This photo of trash on the river is again used to create a contrast from the previous images viewed. The direction of the beer can leads the viewer’s eye towards the dark hole at the base of the tree. The hole symbolizes the darkness that is created on the bright river with litter.

This photo essay ends with a photograph of the flowing river. The morning sun highlights the clarity of the water and the light ripples along with the morning gleam are used to create a sense of tranquility within the viewer.
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