Home > Uncategorized > San Marcial flood plains

San Marcial flood plains

San Marcial Plains


The town of San Marcial once boasted a bank, a drug store, a mercantile store, public schools, and an opera house. Roughly 30 miles south of Socorro, NM, it relied heavily on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad for its life. Water would prove that life could easily be snuffed out. In 1929, San Marcial was flooded, leaving most of its residents stranded with six feet of water in most places. Not long after, the town stood empty.


All that remains of the town now are a handfull of walls strewn about the Rio Grande’s flood plain. While I was visiting San Marcial this week, especially while shooting this photo, I thought of the might of man and how shallow it is. What men had built and proudly stood over, now lies in ruin, trees and grass taking their place. As the sun set on the flats near the Rio Grande, light filtering mutely through the replacements, I wondered which I truly preferred.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Dallin
    October 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Beautiful art Jack. You continue to mesmerize and surprise.

  2. Infinite Monkeys
    October 20, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    I think this is your best one yet.

    Do you take multiple shots (dozens, hundreds) of the same scene before you get the ‘right’ one or do you just kind of go by feel and see what works?

    I usually just take a picture and move on to something else — I take a lot pictures, just not all of the same thing usually. The times I have tried different angles and different focus points and exposures I’m the most satisfied with what I get. I just don’t always have the time to experiment.

    Just wondering which you prefer.

  3. Infinite Monkeys
    October 20, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    I think I can see the Riders of Rohan in the distance.

  4. October 21, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Thank you.

    When I look for things to photograph, I look for unusual setting, contrast, light effects, etc. If I find a moment that is really unique and one I am moved by, I try to take multiple pictures of the same shot. I change exposure, aperture, etc. trying to get one that best reflects the mood of the shot. Sometimes that is easier than others. Most of the time, one of those stands out well above the others. Other times, it is impossible to convey feeling to pixels. In this shot, I saw the light through the trees and set up for the shot. It just happened to be the first shot that was the keeper.

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