Desert Magic – Anza Borrego


When I was young, I wanted to be an astronaut.

I wanted to know was it was like to float alone in silent space. To be weightless. To walk on an alien planet. To feel time stand still.

Although my astronaut dream eventually faded into a childhood memory, my desire to visit another world did not. As much as I love the ocean, the mountains, the depths of a redwood forest… the desert will always have a special place in my heart.

sunrise pano

The soft, sunbathed peace of early morning in the desert is indescribable. The feeling of the warmth cutting through the cold night is pure magic. For a few ephemeral moments, everything feels perfectly still. Close your eyes, and you might mistake yourself for floating in space.

On this morning, I walked barefoot through the brush, watching the world change from blue to lilac to gold. I was wonderfully alone, the lone inhabitant of Mars. The sand radiated coolness into the soles of my feet as the remnants of the night seeped out.



Although the sunrise was over in thirty minutes, it felt like it lasted hours. Wandering alone in the magic light of the Anza-Borrego desert truly makes time flow differently.


It’s days like this that make me feel like my other universe is right here on Planet Earth.

Published by emilyboelee

Emily Boe Lee is a documentary and travel photographer specializing in visual storytelling.

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