San Francisco Creek Ranch

Water is hard to come by in Brewster County, Texas. It's smack dab in the middle of the Chihuahua Desert and has been shaped by the precious resource for millions of years. Water has carved out a land so barren and extreme only a certain type of person can survive, much less thrive.

In 2011, circumstances led me to spend a couple of weeks with rancher Rian Wash at the San Francisco Creek Ranch to photograph a way of life and a profession that was totally foreign to me. Other than some vague familiarity with cowboys based on hundreds of movies,  I had no idea what I was getting into and, not being in the best shape, struggled to keep up. Rian gave me free run of the ranch and I frequently went off to explore the 95,000 acre ranch on my own.

Dehydration was a constant companion. It took most of the time on the ranch to catch up to something close to normal hydration. Being alone much of the time, I frequently put myself in precarious positions. But I soon realized that I could easily be out under the hot Texas sun for days before being found if I were to hurt myself. That put an end to riding the four-wheeler quite so fast. Nevertheless, I am always out to get "the shot." In order to do that, sometimes you just have to go where others won't.