In a state where the stars at night are known for being big and bright, summer is the optimal time for viewing the Milky Way, when it is high in the southern sky and viewable through much of the night. State parks—such as Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City, where the night sky reflects in the still waters of the Pedernales River—are often far enough from light pollution for decent observation. Some of the best state parks for nighttime viewing are Big Bend Ranch, Enchanted Rock, Copper Breaks, and South Llano River, which are all designated International Dark Sky Parks by the International Dark-Sky Association.
On most evenings, as the sun sinks below the horizon in the Blackland Prairie, photographer Andy Sharp is in his aged Honda chasing the light somewhere on a country road or in a small town. Sharp has rambled about for 10 years, since he and his wife moved to Taylor in Williamson County.
The NTT IndyCar Series—most famous for the Indianapolis 500 race each year—made its first visit to the Circuit of the Americas outside Austin on March 22-26.
Colton Herta, an 18-year-old rookie, became the youngest driver to ever win an IndyCar series event. Herta races for Harding Steinbrenner Racing, a team that is also in its first full year competing in IndyCar.
Texas is awash in color after a wet fall and winter. These are some of our favorite photos readers have shared with us so far this year.
For our March 2019 issue, we sent photographer and West Texas resident E. Dan Klepper out to capture spring color in 2018. These are some of our favorite images that we didn’t have room for in the issue.
Awed by the spectacular variety of wildflowers throughout Texas, we sent four photographers on a springtime mission across the state. They combed seven distinct regions of Texas, from the shaded forests of the Piney Woods to the mountains and deserts of the Big Bend, from sandy coastal dunes to rolling hills and the vast plains of the Panhandle. The results are as magnificent and diverse as the lands that nurture our abundant blossoms.
For our March 2019 issue, we sent photographer Larry Ditto to capture spring blooms in South Texas and the Gulf Coast. These are some of our favorite images that we didn’t have room for in the issue.
Big Bend National Park boasts several distinctive and must-visit geological features, and the Window in the Chisos Basin is among the most iconic. The natural break in the rim serves as a picturesque frame for the distant desert landscape below. The Window can be seen from various parts of the basin, including the Chisos Mountain Lodge’s restaurant patio. However, a moderately difficult descent of less than 1,000 feet over a couple of miles of Oak Creek Canyon along the Window Trail provides the most spectacular view.
Rob Decker and his wife, marceia decker, arrived in Big Bend National Park in April 2017 with the goal to capture a single iconic photograph he could use as the centerpiece of a poster he was designing. Decker found plenty of options: He says he was taken aback by the craggy peaks of the Chisos Mountains and the remoteness of the desert. “While most national parks are somewhat out of the way, I was surprised at just how far Big Bend is from most anything, how vast it is, and the different opportunities for recreation it offers,” he says.
The couple explored Big Bend from Rio Grande Village and Panther Junction, to the Chisos Basin and Santa Elena Canyon, where Decker hiked to the banks of the Rio Grande. He then took off his shoes and waded into the river. “Even though it was spring, it was a hot day, and the cool water was a welcome relief,” he recalls. “As I sat on the rocks overlooking the Rio Grande, I thought about the Native Americans, ranchers, miners, and pioneers who at one time or another had called this place their home.”
Decker calls Longmont, Colorado, home. He was just 19 years old when he studied under legendary photographer Ansel Adams at Yosemite National Park, an experience that shapes his work to this day.
Decker is on a journey to visit, photograph, and create a poster for every national park in the United States. His endeavor, fittingly enough, is called The National Park Poster Project, with stylings that hark to the popular New Deal-era national park posters of the late 1930s and early 1940s. With each poster, he hopes to raise awareness of both the grandeur and the continued need to protect America’s natural treasures—and with 43 parks down, he only has 17 to go.
After four days in Big Bend, he left with a trove of images, including an epic shot of Santa Elena Canyon. It fit perfectly on his poster.
In our February 2019 issue, Senior Editor Matt Joyce shared 3 ways anyone can easily enjoy Big Bend National Park, even visitors who aren’t experienced outdoorsmen. These are some of our favorite photos from photographer Sean Fitzgerald that we didn’t have room for in the issue.
Chinese New Year traditions include releasing a wishing lantern into the air or casting it into the water to bring good luck or release worries. The latter is celebrated annually at the San Antonio River Walk, which holds its Confucius Wishing Lanterns event Feb. 9. The ceremony of floating gold-rimmed lanterns
Perched on a dusty ridge overlooking the Rio Grande, the tiny town of Langtry lies in the thick of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands, about 60 miles west of Del Rio. Langtry sprang up in 1882 as a railroad camp during the construction of the Southern Pacific line. Among the profiteers following the railroad was Roy Bean, a tent-saloon operator who became Langtry’s justice of the peace.
When F1 first announced it was coming to Austin, many were surprised. Since its first run in 2012, the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas has swiftly become one of the drivers’ favorite tracks on the calendar because the U.S. Grand Prix tests their technical driving abilities throughout, and it provides more opportunities to overtake—or pass—other cars than most other races throughout the world. This also makes Austin’s race one of the more entertaining races on the tour because—much like the Texas weather on display for the 2018 USGP—if you don’t like it, stick around and it’ll change.