West of Here: And The Drought Goes On

A sign encouraging passersby to pray for rain is attached to a ranch gate on Highway 1954 just south of Wichita Falls, Texas where the area is dealing with severe drought conditions. Measures are underway in Wichita Falls to convert waste water into drinking water. Some residents say they'll pass on wastewater. ©2014 Robert W. Hart

A sign encouraging passersby to pray for rain is attached to a ranch gate on Highway 1954 just south of Wichita Falls, Texas where the area is dealing with severe drought conditions. Measures are underway in Wichita Falls to convert waste water into drinking water. Some residents say they’ll pass on wastewater. ©2014 Robert W. Hart

Choreographer Chris Vo in Rehearsal With DBDT

Choreographer Chris Vo rehearses "touch (listen)" with Dallas Black Dance Theatre company on May 7, 2014 at Dallas Black Dance Theatre studio in Dallas, Texas.

Choreographer Chris Vo rehearses “touch (listen)” with Dallas Black Dance Theatre company on May 7, 2014 at Dallas Black Dance Theatre studio in Dallas, Texas. ©2014 Robert W. Hart

West of Here: BLM Dispute On The Texas-Oklahoma Border

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst accepts the microphone from Texas landowner Tommy Henderson during a gathering of politicians, landowners, law enforcement and media at the bridge over the Red River on Highway 79, northeast of Byers, Texas. Dewhurst was present to voice support for Henderson in his fight with the BLM over land he says he paid for and owns.

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst accepts the microphone from Texas landowner Tommy Henderson during a gathering of politicians, landowners, law enforcement and media at the bridge over the Red River on Highway 79, northeast of Byers, Texas. Dewhurst was present to voice support for Henderson in his fight with the BLM over land he says he paid for and owns. ©2014 Robert W. Hart

A Texas Highways Cover

Cover photo of Texas Highways magazine March 2014 issue by Fort Worth-based photojournalist Robert W. Hart.

Cover photo of Texas Highways magazine March 2014 issue by Fort Worth-based photojournalist Robert W. Hart.

Griff Smith, my editor at Texas Highways magazine, gave me this assignment in November and I completed much of the shooting by January 4. However, the editors at TH decided it was strong cover candidate so I concentrated on the Sundance Plaza area and the four umbrellas. At dusk the LEDs come on and illuminate the undersides of the umbrellas in what makes for a very cool light show. The LEDs on the buildings surrounding the plaza are synchronized with the umbrella lights so at various times the entire plaza is bathed in red, blue, orange, white and, my favorite, TCU purple.

You can read the story by Margaret Shakespeare here on the newly redesigned www.TexasHighways.com

I also shot photos of the newly renovated Granbury Opera House. It’s a gorgeous new venue for the resident company and a real source of pride for the community.

Fort Worth is my favorite town on earth. Getting to photograph my town for my favorite magazine was a real delight.

It didn’t feel like work at all. But don’t tell Griff.

“Tom Waits Live at The Paladium 1978″ Print Available

Tom Waits in performance with Leon Redbone opening at the Palladium in Dallas on Dec. 2, 1978.  Robert W. Hart ©2013

Tom Waits in performance with Leon Redbone opening at the Palladium in Dallas on Dec. 2, 1978.
Robert W. Hart ©2013

I was a 23-year-old photographer working at the Denton Record-Chronicle in December of 1978 when my best friend bought me a pair of tickets to see Tom Waits and Leon Redbone at The Palladium Ballroom. The December 2nd show was just a couple of weeks shy of my 24th birthday.

I was then, and continue to be, a fan of both artists but I’ve followed Waits’ career closely. His lyrics have always inspired me and he remains one of my favorite writer/performers. I’ve always believed that poetry, like art, is where you find it and Waits does it better than most.

Waits’ “The Heart of Saturday Night” album is pure genius. The Billboard Top Ten for 1978 featured no less than five songs by the Bee Gees and/or Andy Gibb. Debbie Boone and the Commodores were up there too and while Andy was asking “How deep is your love?” Waits was warning his squeeze that “If I exorcise my devils, well, my angels may leave too.”

My best friend, whom I just happened to be married to, accompanied me and I shot photos while Waits performed.

The Dallas Morning News writer, Pete Oppel did an interview with Waits during his Dallas stop and you can read that here.

This photo and others by several talented Dallas photographers are included in the upcoming “Shot In Dallas” exhibit at Kettle Art in Deep Ellum.

West of Here: Terlingua Cemetery Redux

Hundreds of candles adorn the ancient graves on Dia De Los Muertos in the Terlingua Ghost Town cemetery on November 2, 2013.  ©2013 Robert W. Hart

Hundreds of candles adorn the ancient graves on Dia De Los Muertos in the Terlingua Ghost Town cemetery on November 2, 2013.
©2013 Robert W. Hart

West of Here: Playboy Marfa Is Still Erect

The Playboy Marfa art installation by American artist Richard Phillips on Highway 90 west of Marfa, Texas is scheduled to be removed soon because Texas authorities say it is unlicensed advertising. Now Prada Marfa, a famous art installation on the same stretch of highway, has been cited for the same violation and may be removed as well.  ©2013 Robert W. Hart

The Playboy Marfa art installation by American artist Richard Phillips on Highway 90 west of Marfa, Texas is scheduled to be removed soon because Texas authorities say it is unlicensed advertising. Now Prada Marfa, a famous art installation on the same stretch of highway, has been cited for the same violation and may be removed as well.
©2013 Robert W. Hart

The Prada Marfa art installation near Valentine, Texas.

The Prada Marfa art installation near Valentine, Texas.

My recent three-day pilgrimage to Terlingua took me past the Playboy Marfa installation which is much closer to Marfa than Prada Marfa. Prada Valentine would certainly be more accurate since it’s maybe a quarter-mile from the town. Back in July the Texas Highway Department gave the artist, Richard Phillips, 45 days to remove the structure but it’s still standing.

According to some Marfans Prada Marfa is art and Playboy Marfa is, well, something less.

Yeah, I love the headline too.

Celebrating Terlingua’s Dead

Terlingua Ghost Town cemetery, November 2, 2012.

Terlingua Ghost Town cemetery, November 2, 2012.

Dia De Los Muertos celebrant at the Terlingua, Texas cemetery on Nov. 2, 2012.

Dia De Los Muertos celebrant at the Terlingua, Texas cemetery on Nov. 2, 2012.

I’m returning to Terlingua this All Hallow’s Eve to document, this time on video, the annual Dia de Los Muertos ritual at the Terlingua cemetery. Despite the presence of a thousand or more CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) celebrants, Terlingua is full of good folks who are best at minding their own business–and throwing a great party.

Me and my crew are staying at the Villa Terlingua guest house with hostess Cynta De Narvaez.

A Fort Worth Weekly Cover Story

Railway bridge over the Trinity River on 9/14/2013. The Trinity Railway Express, the commuter line between Dallas and Fort Worth runs on this bridge.

Railway bridge over the Trinity River on 9/14/2013. The Trinity Railway Express, the commuter line between Dallas and Fort Worth runs on this bridge.


October 14, 2013 issue of "Fort Worth Weekly.

October 14, 2013 issue of “Fort Worth Weekly“.

My short feature package of story and photos documenting a few of my favorite bridges along Fort Worth’s Clear Fork and West Fork of the Trinity River. Also includes not-so-subtle digs at Dallas.

Sunrise Flag Raising at Camp Grady Spruce

Students from W.T. Francisco Elementary School in Haltom City, Texas, attend a flag-raising ceremony at the beginning of their day at YMCA Camp Grady Spruce facility on Possum Kingdom Lake in Palo Pinto County, Texas on September 27, 2013. The students spent three days at camp studying science in the school's outdoor education program. ©2013 Robert W. Hart

Students from W.T. Francisco Elementary School in Haltom City, Texas, attend a flag-raising ceremony at the beginning of their day at YMCA Camp Grady Spruce facility on Possum Kingdom Lake in Palo Pinto County, Texas on September 27, 2013. The students spent three days at camp studying science in the school’s outdoor education program.
©2013 Robert W. Hart