Each of the photos are from the Mission District in San Francisco.  Murals first appeared in the mid-1980s as an expression of outrage over human rights and political abuse in central America. Today, themes have expanded to include human rights violations, gentrification and Hurricane Katrina.

San Francisco street art The Mission District in San Francisco is rich in history as many Central and South American refugees fled there in the late ’80s due to the political unrest around the world.  The neighborhood has been predominantly Latino, with most local businesses being owned by the residents and generations of people raising their families there.

San Francisco street art

While there has been a lot of success for the community here, there has also been a persisting gang problem that came from gang affiliations back in Central and South America.  The neighborhood is famous for its murals, where most depict social justice causes of Latino experience, but more modern ones are reflective of the extreme gentrification happening in The Mission as a whole.

San Francisco street art

Located on the magical Balmy Alley

I moved there in 2009 from downtown San Francisco, which had been my home since 2003.  While I was slightly aware of the gentrification that was beginning at the time, I didn’t realize how quickly The Mission would begin to change drastically everyday.  When I first got there most of my building was Spanish speaking with a few middle aged white neighbors who had been there for more than 10 years.

San Francisco street art
By the time I moved in 2014, not a single Latino resident remained.  As the tech boom landed firmly in San Francisco in recent years, The Mission became the most attractive place to move with its sunshine,  walkable neighborhoods, and delicious food scene.  Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook lives here, when just 10 years ago it was still considered dangerous.
San Francisco street art

Artist Agana has a lot of work around SF and founded a women’s street art collective called Few and Far Women

As a photographer, I am extremely aware of light and color around me at all times.  The Mission is a photographer’s dream — it’s the sunniest part of San Francisco and the often blue skies serve a great backdrop to the colorful murals on literally every block.
San Francisco street art
As the demand for housing rose, the construction began at rapid pace.  Many of the murals were disappearing and I started to capture them just in case it became the only way for me to hold onto them.  I wanted to capture The Mission as it felt to me as a resident there from 2009-2014, a moment in time.  I do not know any of the street artists personally, but I am extremely grateful to their contributions to the neighborhood over time.
San Francisco street art
Some of these murals are still there, some are not.  I moved across the bay to Oakland in 2014, largely due to the changing demographics around me.  It was important to capture these murals before I left, just in case they weren’t there forever.  Since I began doing this in 2009, I’ve made a habit to capture any street art that grabs my eye.  After a few years its proved to be a great habit because the nature of street art is fluid and ever-changing, and I have this great collection of beautiful moments where artists have shared their talents with the neighborhood publicly.

San Francisco street art

Green travel is all about discovering the culture of a destination. We hope you get to see the iconic street art before it disappears.

To buy Morgan Shidler’s fantastic photos, log on to her website.