The reflection of a tall rocky canyon wall over blue water
Photo by Sean Fitzgerald

One of Big Bend National Park’s most spectacular landmarks, Santa Elena Canyon extends 7 miles along the Rio Grande border of Texas and Mexico. The river cuts a gorge through thick limestone mesas, creating sheer walls that soar more than 1,000 feet above the water. Dallas-based photographer Sean Fitzgerald was hiking the Santa Elena Canyon Trail, exploring the end of the canyon near Terlingua Creek on a sunny late December day, when he captured this image. “The water was super clear at the time, but I didn’t really see the blue sky until I waded out into the river and looked down at the reflection,” Fitzgerald says. “That’s one of the things I love about Big Bend. It always reveals itself in a new way the more time you spend there and the more you explore.”

From the December 2022 issue
The May 2023 cover of Texas Highways Magazine

Get the Magazine

Save up to 62% off the cover price


True Texas in Your Inbox

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