Hayley Austin is a Texas born photographer. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008. After graduating she moved to Berlin, and in 2015 she completed an MA in photography at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld. Her photo series “Narratives of Desire” garnered widespread critical praise and was featured in GUP, GEO, Feature Shoot and others. Now based in Hamburg, she works as an editorial photographer and continues to pursue her personal photography projects. In 2018 she returned to the United States for three months to shoot the project that would become ”The Springs.” In 2019, it was short listed for the Grand Prix of the Fotofestiwal of Lodz. Her forthcoming book will be published by Kris Graves Projects in 2020. 

YET together with PHmuseum has selected 3 photo series among the shortlisted authors of the 2019 women photographer grant. Here it is the photo series "The Springs" by Hayley Austin.

A century and a half ago, Las Vegas — “the meadows” in Spanish — was an oasis fed by an underground spring. The spring dried up long ago, and Lake Mead, supplying 90% of the city’s water will follow. Yet in 2017, the city was the third-fastest-growing city in America. It’s one of the last cities where the American dream still seems attainable—where you might find a steady job without a college education and afford a house. Like in most American cities, poverty and homelessness are on the rise. But there’s no other American city with a bigger gap in life expectancy between rich and poor. For many, the dream that hard work guarantees middle class stability stays just that for many — a dream. This series grew out of that tension. Some faces reflect giddy optimism, some self-satisfied torpor. Others sun-burned and tired, confess that for them the American dream is as dried up as the springs that once made Las Vegas green.