Morning on the west side of Big Bend National Park is always special. There is something about the quality of the light here that can be magical. I was up at my usual hours before dawn and left the Cottonwood campground in search of some morning photography and that magic morning light.
About a mile down the road from the camp is the Desert Mountain Overlook. There are good views here on both sides of the road here with several angles to work. It can be good in both morning and evening light for photography. So when I leave camp every morning, I usually start here to get a read on what the morning might bring and see if I want to stay here or go elsewhere for sunrise.
This morning had a few clouds in the sky but there were plenty of stars. I decided to do some longer star trail images while I waited to see what the morning might bring. I worked on a few compositions looking in different directions and wondered if the clouds might light up or if there might be a good view along the river.
After making a few images I found that the clouds were moving and suddenly realized this had the potential for an amazing sunrise. I also realized I was at the wrong spot. While this would be a good spot, I knew that if the moving clouds lit up the better shot would be 7 miles away at Santa Elena Canyon. I had to go and go fast.
So with these to spur me on, I packed back up and left for Santa Elena Canyon and what was to be a fantastic sunrise.