Born and raised in Austin, Durst studied American literature and history at Wesleyan University before receiving his MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2016. His work blends the languages of conceptual and documentary photography, creating open-ended and ambiguous narratives. Durst received the Aperture Portfolio Prize for his series In Asmara, which examines the postcolonial legacy of Eritrea’s capital city, and a 2017 Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship Grant. He is also the recipient of multiple teaching awards, including the UT Senate "Professor of the Semester, Spring 2022" and the 2022 Department of Art & Art History Outstanding Teacher Award. He is also the winner of the Spring 2022 Hopper Prize. Durst has published two monographs: The Community (2020) and The Four Pillars (2022).