Thursday, January 30, 2014

Urban Exploration: Ranger, Texas Part 1

Urban exploration is gaining a lot of popularity these days among photographers. It's probably always been popular, but now with things like Instagram it's more in-your-face popular than before. I have been dying to go exploring through abandoned buildings and houses for a while now, but it's just not safe to do alone (especially for a female). I finally got my change yesterday with the new photo club I joined, Parker County Camera Club. A couple of friends of mine from Instagram actually founded the club just about a month ago and I'm so excited to have another avenue to meet up with people and go shoot photos.

So yesterday we met up in Ranger, Texas, west of Fort Worth. It's a small town and sadly it appeared as though about 75% of it is abandoned and rotting away. It was kind of amazing to see so much of a little town that was once thriving to be sitting empty. We literally only saw one gas station that we could stop to potty in. The neighborhoods seemed to have more empty houses than occupied houses. It worked out perfectly for us, but I can't imagine what on earth keeps the few remaining citizens there. It would be a pretty depressing place to live on a daily basis, I think.

We started downtown and crawled up a fire escape to gain access to the second floor of a huge building downtown. We could see stained glass windows outside, but weren't sure what we would find inside. Turns out, amongst a lot of graffiti and trash, there were beautiful murals and ornate ceiling tiles and wide, open spaces.
We walked around downtown a bit and entered an old theater which also housed a law office at some point. There were probably one hundred theater chairs stacked up everywhere, but then in the back there was an office with bookshelves full of law books that were molding and rotting away. There were even still files in the file cabinet and all kinds of case files everywhere. It was really weird, like one day they just decided to close up shop and never return.

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