When I first began working on my new book of landscape photography, “Lake Tahoe: A Fragile Beauty,” I had been visiting Lake Tahoe for decades and was familiar with its history and challenges. Tahoe presents a rich story. As a microcosm of many of the environmental challenges confronting our time, Lake Tahoe speaks, on many levels, to our culture’s attitude toward the land.
In recent decades, Tahoe’s immense popularity, along with the tremendous growth in northern California and western Nevada, has threatened the very vitality of the lake’s ecosystem. The greening of the Lake’s legendary clear waters has become a siren song to those romanced by Tahoe’s charms. Worldwide, communities and individuals, some as far away as Siberia, have come together to both understand and save this smothered jewel. In many respects, Tahoe is a case study in America’s challenge to manage consumption pressures while sustaining the environment.
As a landscape photographer, the relevancy of this project was very appealing. The challenge became how best to tell the story.