The Dead of Terlingua, TX

It’s hard to believe that with an “official” population of only 58 people, there are so many who have passed away over the years in this tiny little Texas town of Terlingua, TX. After all, Terlingua is not much to look at most days, only in the late winter months are any visitors clamoring to get in. Between February and mid-April, the hotels are packed with visitors enjoying the desert with motorbikes during the day and local Texas brew at night. The motorcycles thunder in and out, filling the dive bars with drink and stories, and a few traditional brawls to keep it interesting.

Terlingua, TX Church Interior

The process seems so obvious, particularly reflecting on the history of this place; come for the hard labor and die in the Cinnabar mines or because of them. During the time of living, celebrations and births that happen need to be recognized, but the end is also destined. They end up here, to be immortalized, in one of the most interesting, revered places in the entire area; the town graveyard.

Terlingua, TX Graves and Crosses

Yet, there’s a joy and a beauty of the process, as it’s been practiced for so many years; it’s a beautiful, peaceful place to be when your time expires. Those who visit come with candles, mementos, stories and memories, all left here to be appreciated by others.

Terlingua Church Exterior

A Place To Gather

As a visitor, I can only speculate, I don’t know for sure, but I would bet there’s a very tight community of people here who love and support one another. It’s usually that way in small towns, I suspect this place is no different. And where do most people meet, other than the saloons and watering holes in the surrounding area? The Church, of course. Tonight it glows in the deepest darkness of the waning moon skies.

Tomorrow another day, more of the same; the pounding heat, the relentless footsteps of tourists throughout the day and a few, like me, at night.

My Equipment and Software:

I shot this trip with my Sony Equipment: the A7r2 camera and two lenses: the Sony/Zeiss FE 16-35 and the Sigma 15mm Diagonal Fisheye Lens with a Sony adapter. And of course, my awesome Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag. This trip, in particular, I enjoyed using my Rocket Air Duster due to the exceptionally dusty environment. Some of the above images were shot at ISO 10,000 or above but look great due to the amazing Sony gear AND the incredible Creative Kit Noiseless Plug-In.

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