Although illustrator Steve Brodner did some preliminary research before leaving New York for the colonias of South Texas, he was thoroughly unprepared for what he encountered. “The books I had read were about ten years old, and they focused on the horrific living conditions in the colonias,” he says. “But the story has changed. Now there is electricity, paved roads, schools. That’s not to say that the problems are gone, but it’s inspiring to see how residents are addressing them. It’s a place of great rebirth.” After a week spent interviewing and photographing, Brodner returned to New York to depict this new reality for “In America”.