Welcome to Travis Monson Photography
Welcome to Travis Monson Photography
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How it all started.

In 2011, I made the life-changing decision to move from Provo, Utah to San Francisco, California. I had visited the city only a handful of times throughout my life and I was always drawn to its quirkiness and unique beauty. I knew that at some point in my life that I would end up living there. Only a few days after arriving in the city, I landed my first job as a cheesemonger in the Ferry Building. I quickly fell in love with the energy of working downtown and I was excited to explore this new home of mine. 

One day, while walking down Columbus Avenue I stopped by City Lights Bookstore and bought a map of the city. I wanted to be a tourist in my new city, so I created an ambitious goal to explore each and every one of its neighborhoods. For every street that I walked down, I would mark it off with a red pen. I knew this city was the ideal place to photograph with its 40+ rolling hills, picturesque views of islands (Alcatraz, Treasure Island, Angel Island), and the numerous types of architectural styles throughout the city. 

Each morning I would pick a random street and start exploring without any particular strategy or plan. I loved the idea of being able to truly discover a city without following a guidebook. At the time, in 2011, a few years before the Salesforce tower was built, many parts of the city like Dogpatch and SOMA were just starting to change.

These daily hikes became my source of meditation and a way for me to disconnect. I loved finding every little detail that stood out to me. I discovered certain neighborhoods like Excelsior and Ingleside that had their own rich history and stunning views. This project truly taught me the layers of San Francisco’s history and that this city has gone through different periods of change. 

Over the last 10 years of living here, I’ve met people from all walks of life and made some lifelong friends. I have truly fallen in love with various parts of the city that I’m sure a few of the locals have never seen before. Looking back at this project, I learned the importance of being passionate about something and never giving up on something that may seem like a waste of time or crazy to others. 

I hiked over 1,500+ miles to accomplish this goal of walking every street, trail, and path of San Francisco. I’m grateful to share some of the images that I’ve captured over the years. I hope this inspires others to stick to their personal passion projects and to get out and explore the world around them.