Steve McCurry - The Importance of Elsewhere


Life on Wheels looks at those Americans who have willfully traded traditional lifestyles of home and property for a nomadic existence of full-time life on the road in recreational vehicles.

Over time, I have become aware of a certain group of fellow travelers who seem somehow different from the typical vacationer. Known as “full-timers”, they are most often retired, but some do still work from their RV’s.

I began approaching them, asking into their doings, and found their fierce independence and positivity toward life a compelling argument to the porch and rocking chair. Photographing them in the environment with their rigs - sometimes traveling with them for extended periods - affords me a unique look into a lifestyle that breaks down traditional notions of home and retirement. I am curious as to how this sea change in attitude affects perceptions of familial roots and relations, and how cross-country travel has affected their own view of the world.

Through this contact I have come to realize that some of my desire to photograph and present them, stems from the fact that I now stand at the brink of what I consider the “Golden Years”. This journey with them has brought me to unexpected realizations of how the older generation has adapted, evolved and embraced the world around them, and changed my own attitude of who and what I might become as I age.


I live part-time in San Francisco and part-time in a 26 ft. Lazy Daze motorhome, christened Carpe Diem, pursuing my photographic interests across the continent. I am largely self-taught, but consider my longtime friendship with fine art photographer Stephen Johnson, and the likes of Richard Misrach, Linda Connor and Bob Dawson to be the basis of my photographic inspiration and proficiency. I studied graphic arts and multimedia design at San Francisco State University, and attend classes and lectures at the San Francisco Art Institute as time permits. My photographs have been exhibited across the country.

Over the past 30 years, I have attempted to hone my vision to better reflect the essence of the landscape as I see it. During much of that time, my approach became quite contemplative, and resulting images more intimate and simple in design. My belief is that the true genius of nature lies in the subtlest of moments.