I have traveled many places and have tried to capture what I found unique, beautiful and different. But, this place, along the Bosporus Strait which merges the European region of Istanbul, Turkey, with the Asian region of Istanbul, Turkey, to be one of my favorites. At first I remember seeing this building and quickly trying to get out my camera to snap a photo before the ferry we were on quickly passed. However, it wasn’t until later I realized that the quick photo I managed to take of an abandoned building revealed more than I expected. As you can see, here is an old building, run down but with a history that I would love to know. Now, the immense growth and economic development peeking out from behind the building in the skyscrapers that dot the landscape show a new chapter to the story and its development.

As I reflected on the moment in my life when I realized the capacity of the humanities, experiences I have embarked on, and appreciation of the geographical landscape, I realized it was a culmination of events that began in my world regional studies course at Texas State University – San Marcos, TX. My professor, Byron “Doc” Augustine, opened my eyes to the world through his lectures, stories, and passion for travel. I realized I was where I needed to be and soon after changed my degree with his guidance. It was not the last course I took from him, but one I sincerely attribute my passion for geography, social studies and the humanities.

It seemed each day he shared with us a glimpse of his perspective when viewing the world geographically and noted that – if you are ever given the opportunity in life to travel you should take it. I have since lived by those words and tried to travel both domestically and internationally to understand the different cultures and ways of life in this vast world. I still have so much to see. This passion for the humanities further deepened when I began teaching world geography, human geography and GIS. Learning from my students, sharing my experiences and broadening not only their understanding but mine as well, has and will continue to shape how I perceive the interactions between people on Earth.

Without my introduction to geography I would have never captured this image and more so, if I had, I likely would have only seen the beautiful old building and not the depth of human interactions across the landscape.

– Megan Webster (Educator)