ONE MIGHT THINK a photo essay about Eugene could not be done without at least one moss-covered tree. Think again. We asked Alex Jordan—an art student at the University of Oregon—to capture the city’s urban side, juxtaposing hard and soft textures, with the goal of telling a story greater than the sum of its parts.

Jordan, whose work is frequently inspired by the beauty found in the ordinary, fully embraced the task. The aspiring professional photographer came away with a study of off-campus life devoid of stereotypes. Take the journey through her lens. Each image offers a fresh perspective that will stay with you.