March 1, 2020

March, 2020
by Sarah Laughland

Sarah Laughland is a lifestyle & portrait photographer serving the DMV & Southwest Virginia. She’s a performer & creator who adores connecting with people through the art of visuals. She lives for supporting local, strong lattes, and good light. <3

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I thought I had seen Texas. I spent two summers working for the Texas Shakespeare Festival outside of Dallas, where it’s flat, hot, and green. What I didn’t know was that Texas possesses almost every landscape imaginable, and could swallow several European countries whole. Its expanse is felt deeply, digging beyond the emotional surface, to an isolated place within a person that’s simultaneously lonesome and comforting. I understand why inhabitants so fiercely love it.

My dear childhood friend and I met in 7th grade. She moved quite a bit as a child, collecting cities like I collected scented chapsticks. As an adult she’s known many homes, and is a seeker of adventures, large and small. I gladly accompany when I can. We found ourselves driving across the desert, stopping when it pleased us, and generally answering to no specific plans. We wandered quite a bit, which just so happens to be my favorite thing to do. We napped, bathed in the sunlight of our kickass Airbnb, and ate the richest food I’ve eaten in quite a long time. I managed to leave my camera at home, but the couple of restaurants offered in Marfa’s several streets are gloriously crafted.

People asked why we chose Marfa, Texas for a getaway, and the answer is contemporary art and curiosity. Our motto throughout the trip became “This could be art (?)”. Known for its minimalist art installations and artists, Marfa attracts the most eclectic group of humans. Don’t let that fool you, because it’s still a wildly tiny town with food industry workers commuting from 30 miles away. That’s what was such an enigma. Million dollar designer homes stand amongst trailers, and sometimes they’re hard to distinguish one from the other. The only way we could tell was that the barrenness had a little more order to it.

My favorite installation, which you’ll see further on down the page, is not an original favorite, as it’s one of the main attractions to the area; a non-functioning Prada shoe store dropped smack-dab in the middle of the desert. We worried about the lateness of our arrival, but the pink and orange sky welcomed us as we pulled off the road.


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