Vintage photo of people canoeing on the Colorado river
Photo: Courtesy Falls on the Colorado Museum in Marble Falls
The 1951 completion of the Max Starcke Dam on the Colorado River submerged the Marble Falls, which were once a draw for sightseers like the boaters pictured here around the turn of the 20th century. Now at the bottom of Lake Marble Falls, the falls used to follow the Colorado’s course as the river dropped roughly 50 feet over 1.25 miles. There’s no actual marble on the lake’s floor, but the river cascaded over limestone ledges containing shiny chert rock, which gave the rock a marbled appearance. One of the joys of looking at historical images like this one is trying to figure out what was going on behind the scenes. A great deal of theater went into staging such photos, and my best guess is this shot was composed to capture a marriage proposal or engagement, with the young couple in their finest attire, accompanied by serenading musicians. You can still see the Marble Falls on rare occasions when the Lower Colorado River Authority draws down the lake level for maintenance.

Know of any fascinating vintage Texas photographs? Send copies or ideas to [email protected]

From the July 2021 issue
The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

Get the Magazine

Save up to 62% off the cover price


Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Sign up for magazine extras, upcoming events, Mercantile specials, subscription offers, and more.