Big Bend!  After a whirlwind weekend to photograph a bridal portrait in this region of Texas, I returned to the quaint town of Marfa and stunning landscape of west Texas for a few days of vacation and my dear friends’ wedding.  This time, pup Boston came along for the road trip and lovely stay at the historic (and pet-friendly) Hotel Paisano.

Marfa is a charming town.  Every morning, I woke up early and the staff at the hotel greeted pup as we headed outside for a walk down Main Street.  Throughout the town, there are buildings preserved from another era and art-deco architecture, art galleries, shops and places to dine with Marfa business hours and official establishments such as the public radio station, public library, US post office, police and fire stations and City Hall.  My favorite landmark in Marfa is the Presidio County courthouse which is stately and pretty from the outside.  Inside, I ventured up the wooden staircases to the tower which offers panoramic views of Marfa and surrounding mountains.  An artist’s town, another highlight of my time there was a tour of the Chianti Foundation.

In Fort Davis, I spent hours hiking in the Davis Mountains State Park and Fort Davis Historic Site.  In town, I walked along the Davis County Courthouse grounds then toured the art gallery featuring local artists at the Fort Davis Drugstore.  The highlight of Fort Davis was the Star Party I attended at the McDonald Observatory.  Located deep in the mountains and away from city lights under the grand Texas sky, the observatory offers some of the best star-gazing in the world.  Although the temperature in the desert at night was 20 degrees and a nearly a full moon wasn’t ideal for star-gazing, the experience was amazing.  The staff of astronomers provided a fantastic tour of the night sky and through the telescopes I saw Saturn and Jupiter.

In Alpine, I had dinner with my parents (also in town for the wedding) at the historic Holland Hotel, toured the impressive map exhibit and Big Bend Museum on the Sul Ross University campus and drove to the observation site on highway 90 to catch the Mysterious Marfa Lights.  Driving between Fort Davis, Alpine and Marfa, the open road seems to be endless.  Big Bend such a beautiful, majestic and friendly place which is quintessential Texas.