Sochi’s balmy climate and its location by the Black Sea make it a popular holiday spot in Russia. Photographer Mikhail Mordasov captures the city at the height of summer when tourists flock to nearby waterfalls or relax in one of the many banyas (Russian saunas). For Mordasov, the area's natural beauty has been compromised by Sochi's transformation into an Olympic city. “Sochi will never be as it was,” he says. “The city rich in trees and bushes is now floating in construction dust. Nothing but monstrous high-rises will now grow on the Black Sea resort thanks to the flood of capital to the city. Sochi is gasping for air.”
Russian photographer Mikhail Mordasov first started photographing Sochi four years ago while on assignment for state news agency RIA Novosti. Fascinated by the changes taking place in the lead-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics, he decided to stay on and document its transformation. Through his photography, Mordasov shows the city’s many sides.