You may or may not know that Marfa, Texas is a small town located in the middle of nowhere that’s become pretty popular on Instagram. The town has become a spot for none other than artsy photo taking. My family and I were in Texas over the course of our last winter break, so my mom and I decided to go on a little road trip to Marfa, Texas. We decided not to bring along my brothers because they find road trips to be absolutely miserable.
Our decision to drive to Marfa was kind of a split second decision, but we didn’t have any other plans. Off we went on a nonstop drive to Marfa. Nonstop if you don’t count grabbing drinks at Sonic. For those of you who don’t know, Marfa, Texas is located near Alpine. It took us three hours to get there from the city of Odessa. All the while, my mom and I listened to the radio which seemed to play the same ten songs twice every hour.
The view out the car window was pretty barren, but the sky was blue, and you could see for miles. It’s a far different landscape from our current home state of Oregon, but it’s just the kind of view that my mom and I love. Although driving isn’t always the most enjoyable activity, I sure do love riding through the southern states of the U.S. Many of our past road trips took place under the initiative of getting from point A to point B. It was nice going on a road trip that wasn’t under the pressure of arriving on time.
As we started getting closer to Marfa, the flat, straight roads became a bit windier. The road curved through the mountain range, but it was still a very easy drive. Before the mountains, the drive was as straight forward and easy as can be.
Unfortunately, my mom and I weren’t able to grab a picture of the Welcome to Marfa sign as we approached the town. Among the things we missed were the welcome sign, the Cosmico tepees, and the Stardust Motel sign. Although we did spot the sign on our way to and from the Prada store, it wasn’t lit either time.
There are many different great spots to take photos in Marfa. It’s quite interesting driving around the town. There are many old, run-down buildings, and you truly feel far away from the rest of the world.
Nothing Makes Sense
One of the things that my mom and I noticed while in town was that buildings would have signs and labels that didn’t fit. We saw a pair of young men walk into a building carrying cameras. The sign above the door said it was a laundromat. My mom and I peered over to realize that it was a small building with various hotel rooms. We saw a few other signs like this scattered throughout Marfa.
Another mystery of this small town is the large blimp that you can find flying around overhead or stationary behind a gated drive and a large fence. It’s unclear what the blimp is doing out there in the middle of nowhere, but there’s got to be something going on behind the scenes.
The town is just a bit odd, in all honesty. There’s a giant display of cardboard art on the side of the road. People visit Marfa just to see these weird things with their own eyes. We also can’t forget the fact that people go all the way out there to snap pictures of a teeny Prada store in the middle of nowhere that has the sole purpose of generating free promotion. Of course, my mom and I were some of those people. We were quite entertained by the oddity of Marfa.
The Prada Store Lies
One of the main reasons that Marfa, Texas has generated so much popularity lately is because of the Prada store. It’s a tiny building supposedly located just outside of Marfa. Nothing is actually sold there. It has a few items inside, and that’s all. Although the landscape is quite beautiful at sunset, I think we can easily say that the store is just here for attention and free promotion for Prada. You don’t have to pay people to post about your products when plenty of tourists are already posting pictures of your brand.
There’s just one thing. The Prada store isn’t anywhere near Marfa. My mom and I were told that the store would be just a short drive out of town. “Just a few miles,” they told us. We drove and drove. We went past the Stardust Motel sign and the cardboard art, past the giant blimp and the secret government facility. Past the fields of cows. Past the even smaller town of Valentine, Texas. A wonderfully “short” thirty minutes later, the small Prada store came into sight. Mom pulled over and we hopped out of the car to catch some sunset pictures of the store.
To our dismay, there was a family of foreigners in the middle of half our shots. The three young children pranced around in front of the store as if it were a magical playground enlivened by the glory of the sunset. Luckily, we were able to pick out some good photos from the bad. Then we got back in the car and drove thirty minutes back to Marfa.
The Dairy Queen Tragedy
The sun finally dipped beneath the horizon as we returned to town. Unfortunately, the Stardust Motel sign was not on when we drove past. Maybe it turns on later at night. We rolled through town in search of somewhere to eat. Unfortunately, the majority of places were already closed. Because we had already driven past the barbecue place, we kept on driving to the only other place that appeared to be open, Dairy Queen.
Little did we know, entering the Dairy Queen drive-through was a grave mistake. It took forever, the employee almost ruined everything by spilling a cup of water on our food, and they forgot to give my mom a fork for her salad. The employee also asked Mom if she would like honey mustard as a dressing for her salad. Both of us were just a bit… surprised. That’s not a thing. Right? People don’t put honey mustard on taco salads. When my mom turned the car around, parked, and walked inside for a fork, she realized that the utensils weren’t out on the counter for people to grab. My mom had to ask the female employee for a fork. The employee responded by staring blankly, confused as if nobody’s ever requested utensils from behind the counter.
After that fun experience, we hangrily (hungry/angrily) sped off into the night, hoping to make it home at a reasonable time.
The Marfa Lights
As we drove out of town, my mom and I spotted a sign for the Marfa lights observatory. If you don’t know what the Marfa lights are, they’re basically orbs of light that hover in the sky. Apparently, there’s a number of people who spend lots of time at the observatory in hopes of seeing the Marfa lights. People don’t know if they’re real or not. Some would consider them to be an anomaly or phenomenon similar to ghosts and paranormal activity. Some would consider them to be not real, like ghosts and paranormal activity. Personally, I think the Marfa lights are just a myth, but you never know.
I’d say my mom and I had a pretty good time on our little road trip to Marfa, Texas. The art and photo opportunities were entertaining, and it’s nice driving out there in the middle of nowhere. If you live in the state of Texas, or if you have the time and intrigue, I see no reason not to give a Marfa a quick visit.