Sea Ranch


One late night I was cruising on Instagram where I came across a beautiful weathered gray sided home with angular lines that tucked itself into the landscape of tall grass where land meets the sea. I immediately shared it with Marianna and asked her if she would move there with me. I am quite impulsive and she reasonably suggested that maybe we should visit first.

After digging a little deeper I saw that the location was a couple hours north of San Francisco and there were many more homes just as intriguing as the first piece of eye candy. Call it my curiosity or call it my obsession but I wanted to learn more about this place and why it was there.

Sea Ranch is a 10 mile stretch along the coast in Sonoma County California where a lineup of great architects found their playground. The landscape reminds me of my time in Portugal near Ericeira with beautiful cliffs, jewel blue water and desaturated long yellow grass that has a permanent bend from the wind. Like Ericeira, the wind at Sea Ranch blows like the off switch was broken. The environment quickly becomes fickle where you have a choice to make as to whether you want to enjoy the beauty outside while being blasted in the face with wind or from the constraints of the window in your beautiful rental home. The struggle is real.

The homes remind me of Pablo Picasso’s sculpture exhibit at MoMa I saw a couple years back. It was a brilliant display of visually observing the creator’s process. Each home like an architect’s sculpture displaying growth, progression and iterations within the community’s design constraints. The scale at play is fun to think about.

The signs warning people to “Stay Out” was off putting but I suppose that is necessary when the community has a sense of understanding for each other and visitors become intrusive. There are no fences and the boundaries of one property blends into the next. This is both appealing and discomforting at the same time. Visually it provides for a connection to how nature intended the land to be viewed where the structures are the sole complimentary pieces. On the other hand some of the homes are quite close to each other and in a place of connecting to nature it feels like a neighbor could unexpectedly creep up on you.

Marianna and I both agree that we would like to be back to visit Sea Ranch for a long weekend getaway from LA. Knowing that we will likely be outside in quick spurts we will seek out a rental that is more secluded within the Sea Ranch community. The experience of being immersed in the landscape and architecture of these homes feels like great kindle for creativity.

Over the last month I have been focusing more on video and almost forgot how much I really enjoy photography.

At one point in my life my goals were to have a great job, a nice house, a cool car. Today my goals are more geared towards being a good man. What does it look like to be a solid dude today? How do I interact with the world and contribute? Am I being a solid partner? Am I setting myself up to be a good dad? It’s a process but I am enjoying this path exponentially more.

Brad Golden