I’ve wanted to visit Marfa, Tx, ever since I caught wind of the funky little artist town only an hour from the Mexico border that is surrounded by Texas ranchlands and littered with modernist art installations. Back in June Andy and I took the opportunity to veer off interstate 10 as we trekked west for the summer. Other than the million pictures I had seen of the Prada storefront posted on social media by influencers and hipsters abound, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
“It’s where the people who go to burning man actually live” and “where you’ll see plenty of cowboy boots that haven’t seen a day of work in their life.” Two descriptions, or possibly warnings, we were given before we cruised the lazy desert streets of a town I can now say from experience I totally dig.
We rolled into town at dawn on a Monday and reluctantly moved westward at dusk the following Wednesday. Upon our arrival we learned that Monday and Tuesday are Marfa’s “off days”. Deserted streets and empty restaurants (the two or three that were actually open anyway) only added to the allure of the strange town for us. I’m pretty sure that had the weekend crowd been around we probably wouldn’t have fallen so hard for the charm of the unassuming town. The quiet definitely added to the feeling of mystery that envelops Marfa.
As it turns out, the social media photos I’d seen and hip scene I’d heard rumors of are in my opinion the least charming characteristics Marfa has to offer. The landscapes surrounding the town are absolutely incredible with rolling hills of lush grasses and Lorax-like desert plants, storms lurking on the horizon, and winding roads that keep you wanting to see what is around the next bend. The town itself appears to offer very little at first, but the more we explored the more we wanted to learn about the boarded-up storefronts amidst camouflaged, understated yet sophisticated dwellings and the scattering of adobe homes that give hints of the town’s long and presumably complicated history.