I learned about the Rosicrucians after my girlfriend visited the grounds in the hills of Oceanside, CA, in December. The eeriness of the place struck us: it seemed abandoned, but one felt eyes peering from the dilapidated buildings. Although there is housing for the needy, I saw almost no people and cars while photographing the temple grounds from December to March.
I tried to capture these feeling of Kafkaesque unease, and initially planned to structure the essay that way, but that wouldn’t have been true to how I came to feel about the place. I find solace there when I need to get away, and it has been giving and comforting. It has become a silent friend, an oasis brimming with poems and nuanced gestures.
These 12 pictures were intended at first to only be in color for the sake of uniformity, but that would have sharply limited my choices: I usually use black-and-white film. They were taken with 35mm- and medium-format cameras.
This is the first in a series of photo essays.