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

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