Lizzie Chen

"Be a human first and a journalist second," Donna De Cesare once told me.

Even before she became my professor at the University of Texas, Austin, I had been well aware of De Cesare's work and the recognition it had earned her — like a Fulbright fellowship and the Dorothea Lange prize from Duke University — so I was pretty daunted by the time I enrolled.

Big Bend National Park lies in West Texas, surrounded by mountains and the Chihuahuan Desert. It's one of the least-visited national parks in the country, according to the National Parks Service.

For those simply passing through, it can be hard to capture the spirit of the place — which is why photographer James H. Evans moved there in 1988, and has never left.

"The big difference of living out here is that in the city the stars are on the ground, and here the stars are in the sky," Evans says over the phone.