Follow the Light

Writing and photography by Taylor Simpson

I often get asked “Why Palm Springs?” This is usually the response from someone once they learn I’m in my twenties and live here full time (yes that includes the summer). And while two years ago my answer was more obvious, “the sunshine and palm trees,” “the proximity to LA,” this laid back desert town has come to mean so much more to me. It is the city that taught me to honor the past and look to the future.

I know I am not alone in my love for Palm Springs. A haven for design-lovers, sun-worshippers, and outdoor enthusiasts, the city has plenty to offer for any kind of traveler. But to live here year round is to feel like the world is spinning around you and at times moving on without you. For an area as densely populated as southern California, I feel completely relaxed and at ease in this refuge, where life is dictated by the rising and setting of the sun and best enjoyed poolside.

One bike ride through the pristine neighbourhoods reveals an era that once was. Homes are lovingly restored to their mid century glory with residents living modern, fabulous lives within their walls and alongside their pools. As a photographer, I cherish my morning walks through the streets to find inspiration. It could be the way the light hits the palm trees, a brightly painted entryway, or that water is somehow flowing through the dried riverbed. I have found that the desert is full of surprises, and given the opportunity, it will let you in on its secrets. Sure temperatures reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months, but I don’t mind the heat and relish the time to wander town and hike the trails in solitude.

Frey House Two

The warm desert air and bright uninterrupted sunshine make Palm Springs a thriving wellness destination and the perfect weekend getaway. What feels like endless hiking trails surround the town, leading up into the foothills of Mount San Jacinto. The breathtaking views of the city below reveal what a true oasis it is. Extraordinary homes rise off the cliffs in every direction, blending in with the expansive desert landscape, many being built to follow the light of the sun throughout the year.

I am deeply grateful for my travels and always look forward to learning from different cultures and exploring new destinations, but there is something so special about coming home to Palm Springs. It feels fresh and exciting every time I drive around the bend of the mountain past the windmills. And yet somehow, it has the same spirit of a thriving desert town from the 50s, stuck in a perfectly manicured bubble. And while visitors come and go year after year, I like to think I’ll linger a little longer, bringing something new to light with each passing day.

To see more of Taylor’s work, you can find her on Instagram  here or on her personal website by clicking here.