New Mexico Photography

San Raphael ~ Patron Saint of Travelers and Singles


San Raphael

Patron Saint of Travelers
Acrylic on raw alderwood
Karen Rivera 2005

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Hidden Grave with Flowers ~ Nambe, New Mexico

Nambe Cemetery
Nambe Pueblo, New Mexico
Karen Rivera
January 2011

I shoot a lot of cemetaries. For heart-rending, technicolor boisterous displays, you just can’t beat a New Mexican cemetary on Easter, Day of the Dead or Christmas. I’ve made it to my favorite, the Nambe Church cemetary in Nambe, every Boxing Day for most of the last 20 years. I follow that up with New Year’s Day in Acoma. It seems to make the perfect emotional double-header.

I found this small, weathered cross tucked away in a far corner surrounded by tumbleweeds and scruffy dead plants. The new flowers shows that this lonely hidden grave hadn’t been forgotten.


Hunting Crosses on the Road Between Cimarron and Taos

On the Road Between Cimarron and Taos
February 2011
Karen Rivera

The first time I went to one of the pueblos to watch the dancing I was served a small cracked hand-painted bowl of this vegetarian stew. I’ve made it ever since I had my first garden when I was a child. It’s rich, comforting and simple but like most dishes that contain green chili, the whole is tastier than the individual ingredients. Serve with freshly made corn tortillas, bowls of salsa and some cold hand-crafted beer from the brewery at Christ in the Desert.

2 ears of fresh corn, kennels cut from cob
1 large yellow onion, chopped medium
1/2  roasted, peeled and chopped hot green chil
1 TBL chopped garlic
4 c. peeled, seeded and chopped unripe pumpkin or banana squash
2 TBL oil (grapeseed if possible)

In a large kettle, saute onion and pumpkin or squash  until the onion is translucent.

Add corn, chili and garlic. Add enough fresh water to prevent sticking. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour.


Following My Heart in Winnemucca, NV

Winnemucca Heart
Winnemucca, NV
June 2010
Karen Rivera


San Raphael, Patron Saint of Travelers



San Raphael
Patron Saint of Travelers
Acrylic on raw alderwood
Karen Rivera 2005


Walking the Rosary


Walking the Rosary
Christ in the Desert
Outside of Abiquiu, New Mexico
Evangeline Chavez

The Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Abiquiu, New Mexico, U.S.A., was founded in 1964 by Fr. Aelred Wall with monks of Mount Saviour Monastery. Christ in the Desert is located in  Chama Canyon in northwestern New Mexico outside of the village of Abiquiu. It is a fascinating blend of sustainable systems including passive solar, straw bale buildings and medieval silence.

The long, dusty, potholed thirteen mile drive through the serentity and peace of the Monastery’s dirt road offers a true modern-day pilgrim’s journey through miles of Federal Wilderness.

Information about visiting Christ in the Desert can be found here. It’s a remarkably moving experience to walk in and spend the day, as is the rule, in utter silence.


San Antonio Church, Punta de Agua

Punta de Aqua
Highway 55, Southern New Mexico
Karen Rivera

The small villages along Highway 55 have always held a special place in my hard-scrabble New Mexican heart. Using the few resources available in the barren, harsh acres early settlers recycled the ever-present rocks into homes, walls, and churches.

In Punta de Aqua, the rough-cut stone San Antonio Church stands as a monument to an earlier example of sustainable and green building.

If you’d like to walk through Punta de Aqua at street level, click here to go to Google Maps, then click satellite.