Thanks to movies, television and Katy Perry, California is having a hard time being taken seriously. The Golden State has become inseparable from the image of stoners, surfers and cheap spray tans, but photographer Billy Yarbrough is here to help, providing his stunning pictures of Southern California’s real culture.

Although his subjects rarely stray far from the sunny shores, Yarbrough offers us an inside look at the beach culture that has been used and abused for years. While he admits to fitting the beach bum stereotype (“I love being shoeless as often as I can”), Yarbrough’s photography and short films present an authentic version of Southern California‘s laid back, fun-in-the-sun lifestyle.

Through his rich photographs of the desert, beach and local communities, the San Clemente-based photographer’s work proves that California’s proverbial grass is definitely greener.