A Great Texas Roadtrip: Marfa & Big Bend

We set off on a Texas road trip from Austin with a full car and empty memory cards. After driving for several hours past the typical flat Texas landscapes, we arrived in Marfa. Part of its charm is that its not the easiest place to get to, as you have to fly into either El Paso or Midland and then rent a car to drive the rest of the way from there (which is why we opted to drive the 6 hours from Austin). We made our way down dark dirt roads to El Cosmico, where we had rented a vintage airstream trailer for the night. The evening was spent drinking whisky under a star-filled sky, taking long exposures and trying not to freeze in the frigid November weather. Even despite the cold, it was truly an enchanting place to be. The next morning we explored downtown Marfa and found the elusive Prada Store (which is actually located on U.S. Highway 90 about 1.4 miles northwest of Valentine, TX). See more of our Marfa recommendations in our city guide.

After lunch, we drove south on a winding Texas highway along the Rio Grande toward Big Bend National Park, stopping along the way for several photo ops (naturally, we took the longer scenic route). There was one point on the drive where we could have thrown a rock and it would have landed on Mexican soil! We checked into our cozy cabin at TERLINGUA RANCH LODGE and roasted veggies and steak over an open fire under the star filled sky. There are several options for hikes depending on how much time you have at the park. We did the Window Trail which took us about 4 hours round trip and was fairly easy. Considering it was mid November in Texas, the weather was a sunny 55 degrees and perfect for hiking (don’t forget your water bottles and snacks, it’s a long hike from the parking lot). Towards the end of our trip we made sure to grab dinner at the famous Starlight Theatre for some good country tunes and West Texas desert ambiance (you must try their margaritas)! After dinner we ventured to the nearby Terlingua Ghost Town to explore the abandoned houses and graveyards in the night, the perfect place for some Milky Way photography (and opportunities to scare the most vulnerable friend of the group).

Take a look at some photos from our trip!