Boquillas Canyon, Texas

In Big Bend National Park in Texas, Boquillas Canyon lies just a short drive from the campground at Rio Grande Village where we were staying. I love it when such majestic places are so close to the campground.

We found an overlook where we stopped and cooked hotdogs on the barbeque before heading down to the canyon to catch the last light.

The far side of the canyon is in Mexico. It is only a short wade away and in some spots I don’t think I would even get my ankles wet.

I made this image as the sun went down and the last light was reflecting off the far canyon wall. The scene didn’t necessarily require HDR, but I wanted the water to appear totally smooth even though it was moving very slowly creating small ripples. In order to slow down the shutter enough to show smooth water I used a 4 stop solid neutral density filter. Even then, the rest of the image was overexposed, so I made 3 exposures and blended them together to get the effect I wanted.

The canyon is a popular spot for the Mexicans to cross, not to stay in the USA, but just to sell their wares. They come across, leave some trinkets to sell with a sign showing the price, and go back to the other side to watch to see if any tourists passing by make a purchase.

There are signs all over the park telling visitors that purchasing these items is illegal.

At one time there was a legal border crossing here and visitors to the park could cross over and visit the little Mexican village on the other side, but now there are no legal crossing points in the park, so this is the only way for the Mexican villagers to sell items to tourists. I hope one day the crossings open again since I heard from a few people in the campground that they had been over there years ago and quite enjoyed the experience.

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22 Responses to “Boquillas Canyon, Texas”

  1. Karen Kelly says:

    Hi Anne,

    Just want to say I love your work and keep it up! Some of it
    reminds me of my years in Arizona. I just love the color and composition. Nicely done!


    • Hi Karen, Sorry for the late reply, my internet access has been terrible lately. Thank you very much for your kind comments on my images, I really appreciate it. I am in Arizona now and I absolutely love the red rock here. The images I am taking now should be on the blog in a few weeks. I am always behind by at least a couple of weeks. Thanks again for your visit and comments.

  2. Joe Hudspeth says:

    Beautiful image Anne.

  3. Laurie Alexander says:

    Gorgeous! What kind of lens did you use Anne, to get such a tall landscape?

  4. Mim Eisenberg says:


    That photo is magnificent. I love the depth, the wonderful colors, the lovely mix of textures (hard pebbles and rock walls, soft water and sky).

  5. What a lovely image, Anne! Very nice work controlling the exposure and turning what might have been a rather grubby bank into a beautiful patch of texture and leading line. How I want to boat those canyons!
    Jackson Frishman recently posted..Caja del Rio SunsetMy Profile

    • Oh Jackson, you really need to boat these canyons!! The water wasn’t moving very fast, but I bet that changes in different times of the year. I did do some cloning to fix up some of the grubby mess in the foreground, there were all kinds of little sticks pointing the wrong way ;)

  6. Toby says:

    Wow, you really captured the spirit of the place. I totally agree that you made the right decision to do HDR for this photo.

  7. Edith levy says:

    Beautiful scene Anne and you did a great job with the exposure and processing.
    Edith levy recently posted..The Corner Store at Via Della PanetteriaMy Profile

  8. cathy says:

    Brilliant photos Anne.The texture was good.You have a magnificent talent.

  9. Chris Nitz says:

    Plain and simple, I am totally diggin this. I want to kayak down the river just for this view!
    Chris Nitz recently posted..Walk the PlankMy Profile

  10. Curt Fleenor says:

    Wow Anne, this is so beautiful!
    Curt Fleenor recently posted..Sheet Metal Mash UpMy Profile

  11. Wow,
    That is just plain outstanding Anne! Love the way you’ve put this image together.
    Jay Taylor (aka Sirfishalot) recently posted..April 6, 2012 – Avian Friday: Don’t Take One More Step!My Profile

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