I threw the parenthesis around the r because honestly I can't photograph the essence of the US, except maybe in the broadest terms such as the freedom to have your own little corner. My county or state however is doable.
A few months back I saw on YouTube "50 State Stereotypes (in 2 Minutes." The descriptor for Virginia, particularly in the county I live in, was dead on: "Center of civilization to hicksville in 20 minutes flat."
This the view from the deck in our backyard. Believe it or not I'm looking towards our closest neighbor's house. During the summer it is extremely private in our backyard. Yet Larry works up in Richmond a mere 30 minutes away. So yes in Virginia you get your cities and your countryside all within easy driving distance.