Based in The Hague, Netherlands, photographer Sabine Rovers first met Kees in Kamerik—a small village in the Green Heart of Holland—back in 2015. Intrigued by his bright blue eyes, cowboy style and American classic car, Rovers has returned numerous times since to photograph him and revel in his freewheeling lifestyle.
“I had never seen a cowboy in Holland before and wondered who this man was,” Rovers explains. “It was only after five years that I found out why Kees had ended up here. His reclusive lifestyle, simple and surrounded by nature, was not so much out of idealism, but more out of necessity. When at some point Kees had lost nearly everything dear to him in his life, he realized that the most basic and essential thing we have here on earth couldn’t be taken away from him; nature. Inspired by the old cowboy culture, he built up his new life. Simple, free and with respect for all living creatures on earth. In the tranquility of nature Kees was able to breathe again. He taught me that being a cowboy is not only about wearing a cool hat and leather boots, it’s about the lifestyle that it represents. We need cowboys like Kees to bring us back to the simplicity of what life is really about. Kees has become my natural self-help book in our modern society, and he might just become yours too.”
See more from “Cowboy Kees” below!