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don’t mess with texas // travel photography

When we decided to take a spring break trip down to Texas, everyone who we told asked the same question… “WHY? Why Texas?!” To which our response was, “Why not?!” And from the moment we arrived until the moment we left, our trip was full of wonderment & awe… we had endless conversations about history, about America, about our world, about the open road, about discovering new places & new things & meeting new friends… and I kept remembering this wonderful saying from Carl Sagan that’s a favorite of mine, “somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” As we found so many incredible things just waiting to be known on our journey… we kept looking at each other through shaded eyes, shrugging to each other and saying, “Why not!”

I’ve said it to so many of my friends, and it forever rings so true for us… we left our heart in West Texas.

I have been warned & chastised by my peers for posting so much personal stuff on my blog… but I’m here to tell you that I could not–would not–be able to keep these to myself. I’m sure you remember that just a few days before leaving for this trip that my husband adopted my daughter, and this was our celebratory vacation. This was us being together in the middle of nowhere and forgetting any troubles, and rediscovering ourselves as a family. And I swear that somehow West Texas ended up being the best place for that to happen… who knew?!

My favorite memories… in list form, so as not to bore you with the many many details of our trip:

… We stayed at El Cosmico in a teepee, in the wondrous & quirky town of Marfa, Texas. Not only was it the most comfortable & comforting accommodations, but darn are those teepees photogenic! The last photo of us was taken by our new friend Jason, whose photos I took and posted a few days ago… see them here.
… We visited Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, which was about three hours from Marfa. I cannot stress this enough (and sorry to all of my friends who I’ve practically yelled this to!)… you must make the Carlsbad Caverns a part of your bucket list! It was (no joke) seriously the most amazing natural wonder I have ever been to or seen. I actually have had to ban myself from talking about it because my heart starts palpitating & my arms are bound to get sore from all the sweeping motions I use when describing it. I used up a whole roll of film while down there, but I cannot show them as they actually totally suck… so here is a link of photos that do it way better justice than I can. But I kid you not. GO THERE.
… We road tripped all throughout the Big Bend National Park, and were so unexpectedly blown away by the beauty of it. We stopped in the ghost town of Terlingua, where the cashier at the general store gave us a map of Big Bend, but hand-wrote on it where we needed to stop and what we needed to see… we drove back on what is called the Big Bend Loop, and spent most of the day driving along the famed Rio Grande. In fact, at times we were literally a few feet from Mexico. It was super exhilarating, to say the very least!
… Our favorite collective memory of West Texas is that everyone is so dang friendly!!! Everywhere we walked or drove, people waved at us, and we were even offered drinks of water by some bikers on the Big Bend Loop… and people were genuinely interested in where we were from & where we were going. Michael keeps saying, “even the border patrol were friendly!” It was so refreshing, and I swear the sunshine & big skies brings it out in people.

There you have it folks… Texas. West Texas, to be more exact. The place where we discovered something incredible.

[prints from this trip can be purchased here]

Jilly Jill - Umm fuck those people who said not to post personal stuff. Love, love love. Oh and did I say love?

Silvana - so amazing. love the tones and the feel. simply beautiful!

Riccis - Awesome trip… Awesomer images…

Oh, and those that said not to post personal work on the blog should not be considered your peers as they either have no clue about the importance of personal work or are too narrow minded and have no interest in continuing to grow as an artist.


Heather M - Hmm… yeah, that’s too bad about that advice. Glad you’re ignoring it!

Isn’t Carlsbad the craziest!? When I was there years ago, I also felt like there was something very 1960s old Star Trek about it too. Not to take away from how amazing it was, that was just PART of what was amazing.

Between the many blog posts I’ve seen of Marfa (would love to stay at El Cosmico!) and my Friday Night Lights obsession, West Texas is starting to get very romanticized for me!

Elaine - Personal work and your professional work should be extensions of one another. When people hire a photographer for one of the most important moments of their lives, they need to be able to trust. I think you build that by showcasing your personal work and telling your personal stories. So boo, to your peers. Though I’m sure they are nice and lovely people.

And these? Man, I want to go there. I’m obsessed with big skies and I feel the love and respect you have for this place. There is a certain kind of reverence in these pictures. Love.

Nicole Firestone - Never hide who you are- you are way too cool to be hidden. Beautiful images and light. More importantly, gorgeous family and memories.

jennifer armstrong - ha, i would have been one of the folks who asked ‘why’ when they heard texas. And your photos explain it all beautifully. My first near-adult crush lived in a teepee. Such wonder. Glad you’re sharing.

shipra - It goes without saying that I love your work! Marfa and Carlsbad on my bucket list now. Catherine, you are such a wonderful adventurous soul. Everyone needs a little bit of Catherine in their lives

christopher roberts - Beautiful. So glad you made it there. You already know how much I love Marfa and yes the skies are amazing.

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