Texans are no strangers to long drives. Whether cruising from Mission to South Padre Island to spot great kiskadees, from Turkey to Lubbock while blasting Waylon Jennings, or catching the remote vistas from Marfa to Chinati Hot Springs, Texans often get to know our state by car—soaking in main streets, small towns, and local oddities from the driver’s seat window.
While driving east on U.S. 90 from Big Bend to Austin in 2009, photographer Bronson Dorsey noticed three run-down buildings near Langtry. He stopped, fascinated by the abandoned structures. “I kept thinking about how many times I had passed abandoned buildings along highways and the streets of rural towns without giving them a thought, much less a second glance,” writes Dorsey. “Thus began my search for Lost, Texas: for the images of vanished ways of life suggested by the buildings people have left behind.” Over the next eight years, he drove thousands of miles across the state, photographing buildings that once were homes, schools, and railroad depots in small towns. Dorsey showcases those images in his new book, Lost, Texas: Photographs of Forgotten Buildings, which came out May 11. See a selection of the photos below.