In a work of sweeping breadth and beauty, Geoff Winningham has created a profusely illustrated, contemplative travel journal that showcases his talent as both a photographer and a writer and reveals his affection and respect for the two countries he calls home. In 2003, photographer Geoff Winningham saw for the first time both the southern coast of Veracruz, with its volcanoes, rain forests, and steep mountains, and the Texas coast near High Island, where the land seems to stretch endlessly, covered by a sea of salt grass. He decided that these two visually striking areas could be the beginning and end points of a photographic study that would also engage the two cultures in which he had lived for twenty years, the U.S. and Mexico. Now, seven years and more than a hundred trips later, ""Traveling the Shore of the Spanish Sea: The Gulf Coast of Texas and Mexico"" is the result. In this beautifully illustrated and engagingly written book, Winningham also considers the role that the Gulf of Mexico played in the discovery and exploration of the New World. Winningham's journey begins east of High Island, in Port Arthur, where the images suggest a cautionary tale relating to the oil industry and the land. It ends twelve hundred miles down the coast at the end of an old, stone road in tropical terrain of almost indescribable beauty, overlooking the sea. In between, more than 200 photographs include natural landscapes (ranging from unspoiled to completely despoiled), roadside architecture and signage, and images of people Winningham met. As he attempts to come to terms with the disturbing changes he witnessed to the coastal environment, the book also contains elements of a poignant, personal lament for what is being lost. ""Traveling the Shore of the Spanish Sea: The Gulf Coast of Texas and Mexico"" will delight and enchant readers with its deeply felt personal narrative and the power and beauty of its images.
GEOFF WINNINGHAM is professor of visual arts at Rice University. His work is included in major anthologies of photographs and is in most major collections in the U.S., including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the major art museums of Texas.