If you’re from Texas, you’ve probably seen at least one picture of someone standing in front of an abandoned Prada store. If you’re not, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.
“Tough to get to. Tougher to explain. But once you get here, you get it.”
Whoever came up with this town promotional slogan for Marfa, Texas is a genius. When my boyfriend and I set out to plan a little road trip, middle-of-nowhere Marfa and Big Bend National Park seemed like the perfect getaway. Spoiler alert: it was. It was a bit difficult to write a blog post about my West Texas trip; being out under the wide-open sky makes you feel a certain way, almost like you’re in a different world, that’s hard to explain. So I decided to do a photoblog instead, because seeing — and
really seeing it in person — will almost certainly do it more justice.
Prada Marfa, about a 30 minute drive from the town, is one of Marfa’s most famous visual symbols. The sculpture debuted in 2005.
Most photos show Prada Marfa in the context of its surroundings. I loved looking into this mirror inside of it. It perfectly captures how strange and compelling Marfa’s art scene is.
The Big Bend Sentinel’s logo (and tiny office) intensify the feeling that you’re in a sort of time warp when you visit Marfa.
A cool shot of the old-school Marfa water tower that my boyfriend (and budding photographer) Nathan Burchard took. And to think this was only a day after he learned how to use my camera.
Food Shark is one of Marfa’s hottest lunch spots, serving up delicious Meditterranean street food. The owners summed it up nicely for an interview with Serious Eats, “Food Shark is a unique operation in a unique tiny town. It’s difficult to describe—it must be experienced to be appreciated.” Note that businesses in Marfa have odd, constantly evolving hours. Most places are only open on the weekends, while others have small windows for meal times.
Ballroom Marfa is just one of the many art spaces to explore in town. The weekend we there in March, the venue hosted art/film/music festival Marfa Myths. Take a day to wander through some of the exhibits around town. Pro tip: if you want to see the best of what the Chinati Foundation has to offer, look into booking a tour ahead of time.
El Cosmico is a quirky campsite with the communal feel of a hostel. Guests can stay in safari tents, teepees, airstream trailers, or their own tents. It even got a nod from Vogue magazine.
On the night we stayed at El Cosmico everyone gathered outside on the string light-laden patio for beer, wine, live music and hammock hangs.
We were only in Marfa for one night (and it was Thursday), so unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to explore the bar scene. Planet Marfa is supposed to be a great beer garden. We also missed out on the Latenight Grilled Cheese Parlour and Padre’s. Next time!
Next stop: Big Bend. We camped for two nights at the Rio Grande campground. Luckily, we found a spot during the park’s busiest time of the year. One of the reasons must be the perfect early spring weather. And so many bluebonnets!
You can never have too many road pictures in Big Bend. The park is so huge, that you could spend an entire day driving through it — and still never be bored. Pictured are the Chisos Mountains, which make me wonder if we’re actually still in Texas, because these guys paint quite a different picture.
The border crossing into Boquillas del Carmen, Mexico was just opened back up to tourists a couple of years ago so we decided to make it across. If you have your passport, it’s pretty simple. All you need is $5 for the boat ride across the Rio Grande and then you’re in Mexico. The people in the town are very friendly and love tourists. “No gracias” is a good phrase to know here. (Taken with iPhone)
Ah, a refreshing beer and some tacos at Jose Falcon’s after a walk around the town in the blazing sun. The owner of the restaurant, Bernardo, is very nice (my boyfriend knows Spanish and chatted with him). His store is also the bomb and sells just about every handmade Mexican souvenir you could want. Pro tip: bring cash! (Taken with iPhone)
Standing in the middle of the Rio Grande River, in a canyon between Mexico and Texas. This place is absolutely beautiful. (Taken with iPhone)
While it’s nice to come home after a few days of no showering and sleeping on the ground, some time away with no cell service and little contact with the rest of the world does wonders for one’s life perspective. Oh how I will miss the wide-open West Texas sky.