Your experience matters!
As a photographer it’s my job to make sure you get photos you love. But I make it a priority that you have a great experience while getting those photos! When I was thinking about about this blog I thought I would combine engagement session tips with Marfa travel tips! So you can have the ultimate Marfa experience along with your engagement session. Make it a weekend getaway while you’re at it!
Let me show you where you can find all of the wonderful West Texas desert vibes, art exhibits and small town charm.
If you like the idea of glamping, exploring art exhibits and driving through desert mountains over the course of one weekend then you’re in the right place. Because Marfa makes it all possible!
Marfa is a unique and quiet little town out in West Texas. You can glamp in a teepee, grab coffee from the Sentinel and check out the art exhibits around town. Marfa is the perfect place to visit for a quiet and relaxing trip and a pretty great spot for an engagement session!
When is the best time to have a Marfa Texas engagement session?
Marfa is in the West Texas desert and during the summer time it gets HOT. So planning your trip for any time from October through May would be best to beat the heat.
A lot of the shops and galleries in Marfa are only open on Saturdays. So if you are wanting to explore the town and see all of the art exhibits you should visit on a weekend.
You really don’t need a whole lot of time in Marfa to be completely honest. Because It’s a really small town! If Marfa is your main attraction then you need two to three days tops. It can be done in one day but because Marfa is so remote I am going to assume you drove pretty far to get there. Which is why I say two to three days!
If you want to add Big Bend onto your trip then you’ll need some more time because Big Bend is HUGE.
I have a guide to eloping in Big Bend as well if you wanna check that out click here.
What to do in Marfa
Marfa is known as an arts hub so you can definitely see some art while you’re there! The Chinati Foundation displays huge indoor and outdoor installations on an old army base. The Ballroom Marfa arts center hosts different exhibits as well! I know that Covid did have an impact on the art galleries so you’ll want to double check that they are open before planning your visit.
Marfa is also home to the mysterious “Marfa lights”. The Marfa Lights are mysterious orbs that dance on the horizon just outside of town, they appear in different colors randomly throughout the night and are quite the phenomenon. You can learn more about the Marfa Lights right here.
Explore downtown! The town of Marfa is really fun to simply explore, grab some coffee and a newspaper from The Sentinel. There is a nice little dog park as well so if you bring your pups you can let them have some fun at the park while you bask in some sunshine! Don’t forget to snag some stickers or postcards at the Marfa Store. Marfa is a slow-paced small town that allows you to enjoy spending some quality time together.
Where to stay in Marfa
When planning your Marfa Texas engagement session you should consider your lodging a part of your overall experience!
When planning your engagement session then you might want to consider the lovely aesthetics that your lodging may have to offer. I highly recommend adding some time at your Airbnb or hotel into your session! It gives your gallery a unique touch and adds to the overall story for sure.
Marfa has a lot of unique lodging options! Airbnb has a plethora of Southwestern desert abodes as well as modern desert style homes for you to stay in. I have a list of Airbnbs saved right here for you to check out if you’d like!
El Cosmico is a part of the quintessential Marfa experience. Stay in a teepee, safari tent or an airstream! Enjoy coffee in one of the hammocks in the early morning and stay outside to fall asleep under the vast, starry skies at night.
I will say that if you are a light sleeper then the teepees or safari tents may not be for you! Because you will definitely hear noise like cars driving by (there really aren’t many) or barking dogs. If you visit in the winter time be prepared to wear layers to bed!
The airstreams are more sound proof and better shelter from the weather outside if you need a little more glam to your glamping. Just sayin’. They do allow friendly dogs at a fee of $10 per night.
Thunderbird is a modern and stylish desert motel right in the middle of town. Book a garden view room and take a dip in the pool. Thunderbird offers a quiet and relaxing stay right in the middle of the desert! Don’t forget to say hi to their office pup, Thunder! Thunderbird does allow pets for a $50 cleaning fee.
Hotel Paisano is a historic hotel right in the center of Marfa. Home to a giant memorabilia room, seasonably heated pool, casual restaurant and lounge with a relaxing courtyard setting. Hotel Paisano has so much character and charm, it really is such a unique hotel.
If you want some more insight on booking your lodging for your engagement session or even for your elopement I have an entire blog dedicated to that right here!
How to prep for your Marfa Texas engagement session
- Because Marfa is so remote I recommend planning to arrive in Marfa at least a day before your session. So you can spend the day of your session relaxing instead of travelling. This way you can go into the session feeling relaxed and stress free! No rushing or travel hangover.
- Incorporate your lodging into your session! This will help tell the story of your Marfa experience and give you some extra unique photos. If you want to know what to look for in lodging check out my Booking Lodging 101 blog!
- Book a campsite nearby for some of those vast desert photos and marshmallow roasting. You may be drawn to Marfa for the wide open desert landscape! Keep in mind that Marfa is surrounded by private property and access to that landscape may not be guaranteed. If you book a campsite you’ll have unique access to beautiful land and you may even get to roast some marshmallows. You can use Hipcamp to find some sites nearby. This link will get you $10 off your first trip!
- Think about it more like a documentary session! Plan your trip to have some fun and bring your photographer along to document it. So you get all of those dreamy engagement photos while making some new favorite memories. Win win! If you’re interested in having a session then scope out my portrait sessions page!
- Wear what you would normally wear! People tend to overthink when it comes to planning outfits. Bring clothes you will feel like yourself in and enjoy wearing! If you’d like more tips and tricks on what to wear you can check out my what to wear guide!
That’s a wrap!
Now you have an idea of what Marfa has to offer! You know where you can stay and how to prep for your own Marfa Texas engagement session. This blog will definitely have you in a good place when it comes to planning your Marfa trip and engagement session!
If you’re ready to plan your engagement session then head over to my contact page and fill out the contact form! I would love to talk and plan your session with you.
If you aren’t ready to book your engagement session yet but you want to follow along on my adventures you can find me on Instagram! Comment on my latest post that you came from the Marfa Blog, I can’t wait to hear from you!