Trans Pecos Festival of Music & Love


“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” — John Lennon

I’ve attempted to start this post a few times now, but kept going back and deleting what I had written… for some reason, I was having a hell of a time capturing the essence of this festival in words. Then, I looked on Trans Pecos’ website and found the above quote from John Lennon.

That’s it.

Upon leaving, I kept thinking… was that all a dream? It felt too perfect, too fleeting, too beautiful and saturated with color for it to be anything else. But it happened — we dreamt it together. For three days, a union of beautiful souls shared their art, their music, their loves, their hopes and their dreams. We lost ourselves in deep conversations, laughed until our stomachs hurt, and cried tears of joy as the sunset took our breaths away.

This festival, to me, is therapeutic. It’s a chance to escape and let go of the expectations that weigh on our everyday lives, and to let your mind be open to whatever may come its way.  Leave the darkness behind and explore new avenues of light that make your heart feel full. Discover what those avenues are and dare yourself to walk down them. Many of the artists and makers who gather at the festival are proof that you can turn those dreams into reality. New paths can always be forged, new doors can always be opened, both mentally and physically. And we left carrying pieces of each other with us.

I know it was real because I have photos of that sunset to remind me of its awe-inspiring beauty. I know it was real because I have a stick-and-poke tattoo (from our dear friend Kris Chau!) watching my back. I know it was real because of the friendships that will carry on into the next chapter of life. I know it was real because I can still hear the music playing in the deep corners of my mind. I can hear Annie Clark of St. Vincent joining David Garza and the El Cosmico Family Band for a stunning rendition of “Under Pressure.”

I hope that these photos (mostly shot with 35mm film) paint a vivid picture of Trans Pecos. And I hope that you’ll come next year and dance with us in the desert.


The road west.


Making friends on the road.

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Beautiful Shari of Charm School Vintage.




Markus & Bekah of The Keep Vintage.


Kris Chau at work.

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Photographer Jackie Lee Young and Koda the dog.



Berlin Nicholas of Manready Mercantile.




Rob Erni of Manready Mercantile.


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Check out El Cosmico on Instagram and get more festival info at their website.


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