It’s a familiar icon of any American road trip: a single sign flashing along the side of the road, advertising a night’s rest in a grungy room with scratchy sheets. In a seemingly endless stretch of emptiness, spotting one of these beacons is a welcome sight to any weary traveler.
But this Stardust Motel sign doesn’t lead to any motels at all. Instead, it guards the entrance to an RV park. Though the sign has been there for decades, any traces of the motel it advertises are long gone.
The old sign, with its retro shape and pale, peeling blue paint, feels especially lonesome. It stands like a skeletal marker of a roadside attraction faded from both sight and memory. The lights occasionally flicker with a faint, dull glow, though their brilliance is nothing compared to the sea of stars sparkling in the sky above.
The sign is strangely fitting within Marfa, a city home to an eclectic blend of artists and other creative types. And its lights aren’t the only things to gift the night air with an eerie, ephemeral glow.