This is the second part of a blog post about my trip to West Texas, back in November. If you missed the first part, you can check it out here.
Since we were down in West Texas, we wanted to explore more than just Big Bend so we planned a day to stay in Marfa. I stumbled across El Cosmico a few months ago and as soon as I saw photos, I knew that I had to stay at this spot. It’s a bit of a hippie hotel experience and the option to stay in a teepee is my idea of camping!
On the way from Alpine to Marfa we decided to check out Fort Davis Mountains State Park. I’d heard that there was some nice hiking here as well and since it was on the way, we gave ourselves a few hours to hike here. The terrain was steeper and rougher than the trail we hiked in Big Bend and as someone really afraid of heights it was nerve wracking, but we did it! And though the views were not as majestic as those in Big Bend, they were very impressive. The terrian is so different, just an hour away from the park. It felt more like the Texas desert. From the peak you can see into Mexico and the mountain ranges further south, which is pretty cool! The Indian Lodge that serves as lodging in the park is just beautiful, it would be so fun to come back and stay there and to go to the McDonald Observatory as well.
After the hike, we drove the scenic loop through the mountains and it was impressive. I really could have stopped every 10 minutes to take photos. The mountains were giant rocks jutting out of the earth and below them cattle grazed in brush and trees. The landscape varied from flat desert, to trees with fall colors, to towering rocky mountains. During that one hour drive I think we saw maybe 3 other cars on the road. Safe to say the only people living out here are cattle ranchers and true Texas cowboys. Unfortunately, our pleasant drive was interrupted by a car sick Louis (no photos of that, fortunately). But, by the time we made it to Marfa he seemed to be feeling much much better and after some intensive cleaning we checked into our little teepee.
I absolutely loved staying at El Cosmico and I can’t wait to do it again! I will say fall/winter is not the best time to stay if you hate the cold. It was pretty cold and the bathrooms (and showers) are all outdoors, so, yeah - I froze. Fortunately, the teepee is heated with a propane fire, so we were cozy while we slept! We sat outside the teepee, while Louis slept and enjoyed some wine & the beautiful night sky. Even with the town of Marfa close by, there were so many stars to see!
On our way out of Marfa we made a pitstop to see the Prada store. If you aren't familiar with this, its a real sized Prada store front out in the middle of nowhere. Literally, NOWHERE. But, we were all the way in West Texas, so we figured, we had to. It was quiet something to see a store sitting on the side of this empty road, just a few miles from the Mexican border! Teresa and I had to have a little photo-op, of course!
The drive back to Dallas was a long trip, but totally worth it! I am just enamored with West Texas and I can’t wait to go back! As a photographer, its just a dream location to shoot, so I’ve been fantasizing about styled shoots out in the desert or maybe even shooting a Marfa wedding!
Check out my favorite shots below. I shot a little film while I was there as well! Can you tell which ones are film?