Rarely does something in reality look the same as in our memories. This morning was the first time in a long time that I was able to see my hometown precisely as it exists in my mind.

The small town where I grew up in Hungary is called Siófok. It’s right on the shore of Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe. Balaton is often called the summer capital of the country due to the large number of tourists that visit its shores. The town has about 25,000 inhabitants, but this number increases sevenfold over the summer.

Most people only think of Siófok as a place to take a holiday, with a blue lake and happy summer moments. However, those who grew up here see the town in an entirely different way.

The places and things that are important to me are totally different than the places that are liked and remembered by the tourists. I feel that this is how it should be. I left this place 10 years ago, but every time I return I feel a deep nostalgia.

I feel lucky to have grown up here. I think that being a local enables me to show this place in an unusual and unexpected context.

—Marietta Varga

Editors’ note: This project was singled out by the jury of the Emerging Talent Awards 2017. See all of the inspiring projects from this year’s 50 talents!