Marfa, TX, with Mom: A Photo Diary

by Kate Lauterbach (Madewell)

Having grown up in west Texas (and having visited the amazing art hub that is Marfa only once as a child), I’ve always had a return trip on my radar—especially now that I live in NYC. So over the holidays, my mom and I took a quick vacation to the high desert for some gallery-hopping, sightseeing and spicy eats. Check out what we saw.


You must, must, must make an appointment to have a guided tour of the Chinati Foundation. I spent a blissful four hours taking it all in, including works by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and John Chamberlain. The contrast of their dynamic pieces against the sparse and desolate west Texas landscape makes for an incredibly reflective experience.


Spend a few hours gallery-hopping through Marfa’s downtown, namely North Highland Avenue and San Antonio Street. My favorites are Eugene Binder (I particularly loved the sign on the door) and the inde/jacobs gallery, which currently has a chilling but powerful show with large-scale paintings called September Eleven by artist Maria Zerres.


Living in New York, I’ve come to miss and appreciate things like stars, open roads and space. Make it a point to drive east on Highway 67 to see the Marfa Lights at dusk—it’s unlike anything you will ever experience. One of my favorite parts of the trip was stopping in all the sleepy towns along the road. Most have dried up and are deserted by now, but you get a strong sense of a bygone era.


It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t at least mention the incredible food Marfa has to offer. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to stop photographing my food, so unfortunately I don’t have pictures to share, but I’ll at least list my favorites here. Because truly, what’s a trip to Texas without some spicy grub?

Breakfast: Squeeze Marfa
Lunch: Food Shark (get the Marfalafel!)
Dinner: Cochineal