Most of my photography these days is for corporate entities or custom publishing. Occasionally, I have the time to indulge in photographing something solely for the pleasure of doing so, or because the place, person or event has deep significance for me. That was the case with Ten Bits Ranch Bed and Breakfast in the Big Bend area of Texas.
Having grown up in El Paso, I find the desert and its spare beauty to be a healing force. When I was a kid, my house in this border town was a stone's throw from a sign along I-10 that read: El Paso City Limits. Today the city has sprawled far beyond that sign, but my love of the desert still burns.
So I was delighted to discover Ten Bits Ranch, built by an Austin couple who harbor the same affection I do for the Chihuahuan Desert that reaches up into West Texas. The ranch is set among the expanse of sand, creosote, ocotillo and prickly pear. Yes, it's hot in the summer but the desert actually cools at night. Plus, there's something about desert heat: its embrace is immediate and intense, ensuring that you can't think of your problems while it blankets you. All you can do is let it suck away at your stress. The desert is a relief from clogged highways and ticked-off drivers, and the night sky, bejeweled only with moon and stars, is a respite from city lights that chase away the dark. The silence, too, is a welcome buffer from the pings and buzzes of incoming emails and texts.
Here's a story from Texas Highways' September issue that included three of my photos of Ten Bits Ranch: http://www.texashighways.com/component/content/article?id=6829:next-weekend-ten-bits-ranch