Photo by Inge Johnsson

We Texans are accustomed to defending the beauty of the state’s fall color.

Leaf IllustrationYes, autumn in Vermont and Maine is beautiful; and yes, Virginia and North Carolina offer a mix of blue skies and russet hillsides that may leave you spellbound. But Texas autumns—like Texans ourselves—are a rare breed, amplified by that intangible variable that makes any experience more vivid: the element of surprise. More often than not, the light shifts one day, shadows lengthen, and suddenly, it’s fall.

44 Garner

Photo by Laura Vu

Following spring’s riot of blues, pinks, and purples and summer’s bright tapestry of greens and browns heightened by blazing sunlight, fall ushers in a reassuring wash of saffron, gold, amber, and magenta. True to Sir Isaac Newton’s original 17th-Century diagram of the color wheel, Texas’ autumnal palette is magnified by its juxtaposition to cerulean skies and a panoply of evergreen.

Of course, we experience fall in Texas not only with our eyes. When we’re observant enough, we give equal attention to the rustling of leaves at our feet, the scents of fruit and smoke and pine needles, the air so crisp you could snap it like a cookie.

We bring you scenes from Texas’ autumn at its finest. Here is the Guadalupe River shimmering in amber light, golden maples and gnarled branches at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, cypresses shrouded in moss at Caddo Lake, evergreens and dramatic blue skies at Daingerfield State Park, and other evocative scenes made richer with texture, depth, shadow, reflection, and focus. Leaf Illustration

Photo by Sean Fitzgerald

Leave Illustration

Photo by Inge Johnsson

Leaf Illustration

From the September 2014 issue

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