About 4 years ago I read about an obscure artist mecca Marfa, TX claiming to be the next Santa Fe. Through my lonely drives back and forth from Houston (Born and raised) to Colorado (Fort Collins, Colorado State Univesity), I grew fascinated with the barren lands of west Texas and New Mexico. From this fascination grew an urge and desire to visit the little big town known as Marfa. About a year after college and about 9 months into my relationship with Colt, we decided to take the 600 mile journey from Houston to Marfa. The first 3 hours to San Antonio were dismal and forgetful, but as soon as we got outside the San Antonio city limits we were mesmerized by the subtle transition from Texas hill country to desolate Texas desert and mountains. Yes, there are mountains in Texas! Marfa is surprisingly located 4,688 ft above sea level, which is almost equivalent to Fort Collins, CO. The drive captivates all your senses. Our journey took place at the end of March, which is right when all of the cacti were just beginning to bloom and the weather was brisk and sunny. We stayed at a fabulous little boutique motel, The Thunderbird, owned by Odessa native Liz Lambert and designed by San Antonio's Lake|Flato Architects. I felt as though I had traveled back in time when I walked around Marfa, except for when you happen to catch a glimpse of civilization walking by art installations by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Andy Warhol, John Chamberlain and many more. This little town of about 2,500 has several amazing art galleries and permanent collections. There are several delcious little restaurants that have been opened by nationally acclaimed chefs and many little casitas that can be rented out for a modest amount. The bare, dry, and dreamlike landscape provides an intimate setting for the permanent installations. For me, this landscape provided a surreal, educational, and sensory experience. Colt and I went back to Marfa this past March where we exchanged commitment rings with each other. We would like to make it a yearly trip, but now having moved to Chicago, it could make the trek a little more difficult.