Engagement Experience - Big Bend

Big Bend is forever my favorite place in the world. When I was studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, at night, I would look out the window of my flat and wish I was looking at the silhouette of St. Elena, or the magic of the Milky Way, unhindered by city light pollution. It’s funny that despite traveling all around the world, from Costa Rica to the Dominican Republic, the Amalfi Coast and England and Ireland, this wild, wild place always calls me home.

Lucky for me, Garrett and Victoria have that same kind of fire in their belly. Instead of doing your typical 1.5 hour engagement session, these two decided they wanted to do something more true to themselves—creating memories together in the outdoors.

They drove in from Austin, and me from Lubbock. We met at the Big Bend Ranch State Park visitor center near Presidio and then made our way to our riverside campsite for a whole weekend of hanging out and taking photos.

After setting up camp, we went for a little exploring and walking along the Rio Grande. Getting to hold witness to the little moments as Garrett and Victoria fell into their normal routine was special, and exactly what I hope happens with every couple I get to hang out with.

We concluded our evening at one of my favorite spots in the world--a scenic overlook along the Rio. With Mexico in the background, ocotillo all around them, and a rich desert sun on their skin, my heart was exploding. 

After the sun had set behind the mountain, we hopped in the car and headed back down the road to our campsite. We ate a quick dinner and then Victoria and Garrett snuggled in their sleeping bags while I snapped a few long exposures.

The next morning, we headed out to explore a slot canyon. It’s important to me that my couples and I practice Leave No Trace ethics and are informed about local flora and fauna. Taking a pretty picture against a stunnig backdrop is one thing, but know that place intimately, naming the plants as you hike, and caring for the land is far more sustainable and meaningful. You can read more about LNT here. After a couple hours of hiking, Victoria and Garrett changed clothes for a few more typical engagement shots.

At the end of our hike, tired and thirsty, we headed into Terlingua for porch-sitting and Topo Chico drinking. When we finished, with dust in our rearviews, we parted ways and said, “see ya in one year” for their January 5, 2019 wedding day at Prospect House in Dripping Springs.

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