Big Bend National Park

In Oct 2012 I was in Big Bend Natl Park – nearly 1m acres of vast, desolate desert and mountains in the remote southwest corner of Texas. The mighty Rio Grande River – source of life and irrigation - forms the southern border with Mexico for 120 miles. At the park’s centre is the Chisos Mountains Basin, offering respite and excellent lodging, the rest mainly desert.

It does rain - road signs in obscure places warn of flooding. I captured images of this harsh terrain – flaking river beds and sun-parched remains of structures from a distant past. Deep in the Santa Elena Canyon the light had collapsed and it was time to head for home base, 30 miles north. A storm crept north from Mexico, with rolling thunder and darkening sky. I drove to ‘Sotol Vista’, a majestic overlook, and set up my Bronica SQA. The thunderhead was now boiling furiously, looking like an alien trying to escape. I turned 180 degrees to clear sky behind me, and there was a beautiful display of anticrepuscular rays. The storm gathered pace and it was clearly time to make a run for it. The storm hit the car with full force as I inched up the mountain road in torrential rain, lightening, thunder and hail, at last reaching the Basin.

Next morning all the dry washes were in flood – the cracked mud now quenched and a whole new landscape to photograph. It was ‘a perfect storm’...for a photographer.