McNary, Texas

by Brian Cofer January. 11, 2013 9771 views

This little speck about 60 miles east of El Paso is not exactly a ghost town; about 250 people lay scattered around. But as the sun started to set behind mountains across the Rio Grande, I sure saw lots of abandonment. Lots of active cotton farms spread across the landscape. But where have the farmers gone? Most of the houses looked like the one below.

I guess you could call this “downtown” McNary, a collection of abandoned businesses and a Texaco station along Highway 20, which once served as the main highway through this part of the country. Before Interstate 10 was built nearby in the 1960s, these businesses must have stayed pretty busy servicing passing travellers.

This and five of the last six posts were all taken on the same day. A very productive and long day.

So, as I stood along the highway, a green and white Border Patrol vehicle pulled alongside me. The officer inside got out and asked me if everything was OK. It was clearly yet another instance of someone wanting to know what I was up. I showed him my camera and told him I was just taking pictures. He didn't care about me taking pictures. Instead, he said, “We don't see a lot of people walking along the highway here. We're just trying to keep you all safe.” He was really a pretty nice fellow.
Cluelessly, I asked, “Are we close to Mexico or something?” He pointed across a field behing these buildings. “Yeah, it's about a half mile back there.”
It was really lonely along that highway, it was getting dark, and here I was in a part of the country known to be overrun with bad guys. Made me realize that perhaps it was time to call it a day. It also made me realize how these Border Patrol officers really put their lives in danger patrolling a very isolated part of the country by themselves.

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Artal 6 years, 8 months ago

I like a lot your photographs, the way you capture decay, loneliness, abandoned buildings, open space... Very interesting.

6 years, 8 months ago Edited
Larry Sample 6 years, 8 months ago

Great stuff! Last one a keeper for sure!

6 years, 8 months ago Edited
Jacki 6 years, 8 months ago

I really like the last shot... very desolate looking place beside the stretch of highway. Interesting encounter with the border agent, and sounds wise to have moved on!

6 years, 8 months ago Edited