Gold / 2016 / Press / Sports

Rebirth of Cool

  • Prize
    Gold in Press/Sports
  • Photographer
    Jef Russell

‘Cool’ and Texas don’t usually go together, but if someone was pressed to think of something cool in Texas, they’d probably think of Austin and its Austin City Limits Festival, live music, and food trailers. But in my opinion, the coolest part of Texas actually extends in a 60-mile radius around Austin; in a part of Texas known as Hill Country. This is where you’ll find towns such as Buda, Bastrop, Dripping Springs, Llano, and Marble Falls. It’s also where you’ll find me most Summer nights photographing a ritual of-sort; one that is old-fashioned, blue-collar, and exhilarating: the small-town Texas rodeo. And this is important because the rodeo is much more than a simple series of cowboy events. These men and woman don’t pledge a life-long allegiance to a corporation, they pledge their allegiance to a way of life. That’s a spirit I tried to capture as it’s incredibly cool.