St. Paul Church

I’ve been traveling the roads between DFW and College Station for 12 years now. We always go the same way. Mostly because there’s really only 1 way to go. But I digress. Once you make it to Waco on I-35, you turn off onto Highway 6 which takes you all the way into and through Bryan/College Station. The Hubs could make the drive in his sleep and I could probably do it half-asleep. Highway 6 takes you through rural country areas complete with hay fields, farms and acres of cattle. There are a number of small towns we pass through and most of them are known for their sneaky cops that make their living preying on speeding college students and the local Sonic. For the better part of the past 12 years I’ve been meaning to photograph this church that can be seen from Highway 6 just outside of Marlin, TX. The church sits on a farm road off the main highway, but can be seen for quite some time when driving along Hwy. 6. Every time we pass it I say, “Someday I’m going to photograph that church.” Well, someday finally came this past weekend while we were on our way back from the football game. Circumstances were less than ideal, and I learned a great deal once I uploaded and started looking through these photos, but I think you can still enjoy some pics of a rural country church.

I have a particular affinity for churches. I love to photograph them. Most of them are beautiful structures that house so much history it just boggles my mind. Catholic churches are particularly beautiful to me and being raised in a Baptist home, I’m blown away by the Catholic traditions that have been passed down, unchanged, for centuries. From the road this church looks like a beautiful, white structure. Well kept and well maintained. Once we arrived we discovered the building is actually not in the greatest shape. It’s weathered and covered in cobwebs; it almost seems untouched.  In fact, it’s not even used for services anymore but I still found myself amazed and lost in thought about what those walls have seen. This structure was erected in 1920. It’s been through prohibition. It’s been through a World War. It’s been through the Civil Rights Movement (hello, we’re in the South). I can only imagine what has been discussed and decided inside that building. I find it amazing that entire communities were centered around the church and it was the site for pretty much all important meetings, goings-on and happenings in the community. We were able to go inside the building, they leave it unlocked for people just like us. The inside was pretty amazing too. I happen to be horrible at indoor photography, so I won’t be posting any of those pictures.

Now, as I mentioned before, I learned a few things after looking at these photos. 1) I was suffering from a migraine on Monday when these were taken and my heart wasn’t really into photo-taking. I was in pain, feeling pukey, and I think it shows. It’s not my best…not my worst, but not my best. 2) I knew it was the wrong time of day, but hey, I didn’t have much choice. It was right at noon and you can tell by some of the shadows and harsh light. Shrug. 3) On a few of these shots I should have upped my f-stop to get a larger area in focus. This is one of those things I just couldn’t understand until I saw it for myself and I find I start shooting and it never really occurs to me to adjust my settings. Rookie mistake. It’s how I learn. 4) I must have   need   want new lenses.

street view

historical marker

church entrance

steeple through trees

stained glass through trees

steeple blue sky

church with sunburst

Steeple with sunburst


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