A collection of beautiful images from five transformative years in San Francisco's Presidio.
Charity Vargas is a Landscape Photographer working and living in the Presidio of San Francisco. The photographs in her book "The Presidio: Portraits of a Changing Landscape" were taken between 2003 and 2008 as the Presidio transformated itself from Army base to a very unique, urban National Park. In her work she captures images of the wild industrial landscape of nation’s largest urban national park. The book was published in December of 2008.
The Presidio is a complex landscape that feels familiar to me. I was raised in equal parts on an Air Force base near Canada, in the foothills of Sierra Nevada Mountains surrounded by old cedars and snow, and still later in the suburbs - surrounded by nothing. The forests and military industrial architecture here do not seem at odds to me. Contrarily nature thrives alongside structures modified over many years for many uses. Some wait vacant on polluted grounds, yet still there is a resilience that permeates the land and these buildings. There is a feeling of tamed wildness about it, a secret garden in our city, in constant change, quiet, hopeful and continuing.