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for people who care about the West

See photos of a journey down the Old Rio Grande

Through the lens of the people who lived near and were shaped by the river.


The Río Grande snakes its way through the Southwest, telling the long, rich history of the Puebloan, Spanish, Mexican and Anglo settlers who lived and worked along its banks. In Río, geographer and conservationist Melissa Savage has assembled a tribute to the river and its people.

The book follows the course of the 1,900-mile-long waterway, exploring floods, crossings and cultivated fields, ultimately confronting the river’s end at the Gulf of Mexico. A variety of essayists help illuminate the black-and-white photos, which document river life from the 1800s through the 1900s.

Río is a celebration of place, of how the people who lived there shaped the river, and were in turn shaped by it. As Savage writes in the preface, describing her own experience living by the river in northern New Mexico: “I have become who I am because of where I have been.” 

Río: A Photographic Journey Down the Old Rio Grande
Melissa Savage, editor
144 pages, $29.95.
University of New Mexico Press, 2016