Discover the Beauty of Isla Vista Through Aaron Howard’s Photography Book

"Isla Vista Seasons" photography book Aaron Howard (courtesy)
"Isla Vista Seasons" photography book Aaron Howard (courtesy)

Isla Vista is more than a hub of college students. It showcases a stunning coastline and picturesque landscapes that has captured the heart of local photographer Aaron Howard. His recently published book, “Isla Vista Seasons: Ocean, Land, and Light,” is an immersive visual tribute to the natural wonders of this beloved beach town.

The self-published 300-page book features Isla Vista’s natural environment from Campus Point to Sands Beach and everything in between with a theme of sunrise to sunset in each chapter.

As a resident of Isla Vista, Howard is not only an accomplished photographer but also a surfer deeply connected to the ocean. His journey into photography began during high school when he took an elective class that introduced him to film cameras and the art of darkroom development. Since then, he has used his camera to capture the beauty of coastal California and various destinations around the world, utilizing photography as a means of creative expression.

“Isla Vista is such a special place for many reasons. Beyond its natural beauty, the beach town is geographically located in a biological mixing pot that hosts an impressive variety and abundance of wildlife, both on land and in the ocean,” said Howard. “Also, hundreds of years ago the town was inhabited by some of the densest Chumash populations in California. Today, the transitional town leaves a positive mark on hundreds of thousands of students. Isla Vista deserves a tribute for its nature.”

Cover of the “Isla Vista Seasons” photography book Aaron Howard (courtesy)

Howard graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Earth Science and in 2016 he earned his master’s degree in environmental science. During his time as a marine science researcher, Howard’s camera became a powerful tool, allowing him to showcase the beauty of the ocean and convey his deep respect for the land he calls home. He also contributed to campus sustainability efforts as a staff photographer for the university and founded a non-profit organization that donated photography proceeds to support local environmental causes. 

Howard firmly believes in the transformative power of photography as a catalyst for positive change.

“I hope the book inspires future generations to respect and prioritize Isla Vista’s natural setting, whether it be something as simple as not littering or as long-lasting as replanting the coastal live oak trees,” said Howard.

“Isla Vista Seasons: Ocean, Land, and Light” is a stunning coffee table book divided into chapters that correspond to the seasons, showcasing a remarkable 15-year portfolio of fine art photography. From the breathtaking ocean vistas to the diverse landscapes, vibrant sunsets, and captivating wildlife, each page of the book offers a mesmerizing glimpse into the natural framework of Isla Vista.

Complete with a table of contents, foreword, book introduction, chapter introductions, captions, and an author page, “Isla Vista Seasons” takes viewers on an awe-inspiring journey through the picturesque beauty that surrounds our iconic beach town. 

Chaucer’s Book’s recently featured Howard as a local author during his book launch and UCSB’s student paper, The Daily Nexus, highlighted his book release. 

To learn more about “Isla Vista Seasons: Ocean, Land, and Light” and to get your hands on a copy, visit and embark on a journey through Isla Vista’s natural wonders.

Follow Aaron Howard on Instagram: @aaronhowardphoto for updates and sneak peeks from “Isla Vista Seasons.”

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Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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