My grandmother had always been the one to show us kids love and affection, while my quiet (and slightly grumpy) grandfather preferred to sit in his chair and keep to himself. We knew all along that he loved us, but it just wasn’t in his nature to express his feelings. When he lost my grandmother, his wife of 70 years, we started to notice a softer side. He’s still grumpy at times — but now when we say goodbye we can see that he’s sad we are going, while before he would have silently stayed in his chair. A week ago he even told me that he loved me.

Photographer: Magera Holton

I am a designer based in San Francisco, but Austin will always be home.