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Marfa Lifer Is Happy About The Town's Renaissance...Except for the Clothes

A family portrait from the 1970s: Mario Rivera, Alice Rivera and Rene Rivera. (Photo courtesy of Mario Rivera.)

Seventy-four-year-old Mario Rivera saw the remote West Texas town rise and fall in tandem with the nearby airfield, and now he can hardly believe its reputation as a trendy travel destination.

Septuagenarian Mario Rivera has lived in Marfa all his life — except for a weeklong stint in El Paso. He’s seen the town evolve from its boom years when the nearby airbase was open, to the years after the airbase closed and the town fell into decay. Today he says he’s happy that Marfa is having a renaissance, and is tickled that some young people make it destination for Spring Break.

Rivera can’t wrap his head around the way some of them dress, though:

“Black is their favorite…black dress, black shirt, black pants, black, black, black. Cowboy hats with shorts and cowboy boots,” he chuckles. “I don’t know if they do that on purpose or if it’s their natural attire, but they stand out.”

Carlos Morales is Marfa Public Radio's News Director.