Big Bend offers stunning scenery, gorgeous flora in all seasons, easily approached wildlife (roadrunners, coyotes, songbirds), pleasant weather, and no crowds except during holidays. Its varied terrain includes the rugged Chisos Mountains soaring to nearly 8,000 feet, expanses of cactus and creosote-studded Chihuahua desert spread over tilting planes, and dark canyons of the Rio Grande. Photographers neglect it only because of its isolated location in southern Texas. Plan to visit in late winter/early spring when temperatures are mild and wildflowers at their peak.
Must shoot: Chisos Mountains with iconic agave in the foreground. Insider tip: See the breathtaking vistas on Farm to Market Road in nearby Big Bend Ranch State Park. Info:www.nps.gov/bibe This photo: This strawberry cactus bouquet was grabbed in the shade of a white umbrella that diffused harsh desert light, resulting in rich color.