As we celebrated Texas Monthly‘s fiftieth anniversary, we asked our photographers to reflect on the faces and places that make up our impressively wide-ranging half-century archive, and to add to the body of stories that will carry us into the next fifty years. In photo shoots from Big Bend Ranch State Park to the shores of Galveston, we aimed to continue the tradition of outstanding visual storytelling.

Our anniversary year took photographers to dozens of new and exciting places. Ben Lowy traveled the depths of Spring Creek Cave with caver extraordinaire Bill Steele; Peter Yang had a field day with a few dozen feral hogs at an animal sanctuary in Ennis; Jeff Wilson donned flippers and waterproofed photo gear to shoot at Waco Surf park. We found a few delicious foods, too, including in Mackenzie Smith Kelley’s graphic and colorful take on Mexican sushi, and Brittany Conerly took a portrait of a Fort Worth burger that we’re still drooling over. 

But Texas is nothing without its people, something we’re reminded of whether we’re shooting celebrities or everyday heroes. This year’s print issues featured stunning portrait photography, including Hannah Gentiles’ photo of the only hospice nurse serving the West Texas area; framable favorites of country music icon Tanya Tucker by Sami Drasin; and the type of photo we can all cherish: Chad Wadsworth’s shot of two best friends enjoying a meal. Below we’ve selected some of the works we’re most proud of from 2023. Here’s to the next fifty years of Texas Monthly artwork.