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LUISAS SECRETS

OUR STORY

OUR ADVENTURES

Our Adventures

White Sands National Monument In New Mexico, USA

Hello friends! We are Luisa and Douglas. Our journey together started in the most unexpected city in the world, Las Vegas. From there we overcame a 3 year long distance relationship. Living in separate continents. Coming from different cultures, traditions, food, and lifestyles. We quickly fell in love, got married in Vegas, named our little puppy Vegas, and discovered our true passion: Creating experiences. Together.

This world is big, and life here is short. So we do not like to sit still. We want to explore as much as possible and capture as many love stories as we can along the way. Our bucket list is always growing. Our cameras are always capturing moments that will live forever. Our hearts are so full of love, for each other, and everyone we meet on our adventures.

Want to follow along? Here are a few places we have been blessed to explore, with many more to come!!!


We love sand! Does that sound crazy? Of course not! Before Douglas and I met, we each dreamed of getting married barefoot. In the sand. On the beach. And about three years ago our dreams came true, and we got married on the Renaissance Island in Aruba. Since then, being able to explore more places with breathtaking beaches or sand dunes has always been on the top of our list (there is sand in Iceland too, right?).

In June of 2018 we traveled to the Sahara Desert in Morocco to capture Nicole & Chad’s love story! We were obsessed, being in the desert sand, with the golden sunlight reflecting off endless sand dunes just took our breath away. It was a picture perfect trip. And we are ready to go back.

Last Friday, we found ourselves relaxing on the couch. We had two full days just to ourselves. “Let’s pack our bags and go!” Douglas has always surprised me with spontaneous weekend trips in the past, and this time was no different! We boarded a plane to El Paso. We toasted with a glass of wine. We quickly googled a last minute place to stay. We booked our rental car right in front of the rental counter. And of course looked for food recommendations. Chili’s anyone?

A 1.5 hour flight, a 1.5 hour drive, and 2 hotels later. We found a place to sleep. It was 2 am and had to be up in 3 hours for sunrise (its all about that light, perfect light, and nobody… else). After a little power nap, we got in our car and headed down south on White Sands National Blvd. We could see a beautiful mountain scape on the horizon, and a little white line that grew bigger and wider the closer we got. The sand dunes. White. SPARKLY sand. Left and right. It was unreal.

“Like No Place Else on Earth.”

It could not be more picture perfect. For landscapes. Engagements. Intimate elopements. Vow renewals. Or even anniversary pictures. Especially during sunrise and sunset. We fell in love with the waves of sand dunes. We got to meet a cute little bleached earless lizard, who was posing for us in the sand, and enjoyed the silence all around us. Being about to soak in the experience. Talking to each other from sand dunes over 100 yards away.

But lets get back to the best part. The white. SPARKLY sand. Did you know this sand comes from Gypsum dissolving on the Sacramento Mountains? Over many years it crystalizes and the wind blows it off into shimmering white sand? You really have to see it!

Another moment we will never forget was when the sun slowly began setting behind the mountains. The white dunes colored in different shades of yellows, blues, purples and pinks. And then the moon and stars filled the night sky. We keep looking at each other, speechless and in “Aww” staring at one of the most beautiful places on this earth. We cannot wait to be back, and pop up a tent on the campground right in the middle of the dunes to photograph the milky way. Another adventure checked off and added to our bucket list!!!

Our Tips

You probably want (or should!) avoid the midday heat, especially in the summer months. After sunrise it was in the mid 80s, and when we headed back for sunset it was over 100. Remember to pack plenty of water (2-4 liters per person), and bring strong shoulders or man to carry all the extra weight. Looking back it would have been really nice to have an umbrella for shade since there isn’t any while the midday sun rises up high in the dunes. And of course don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen!

Oh and bring some cash with you. The entrance fee is $5 per person. Even though there were signs for “credit cards accepted” it was cash only the day we went. So have a few dollars in your wallet!

Best Time To Take Pictures

As always: The first 2 hours of sunrise and the last 2 hours before sunset. So depending on what time of the year you plan your trip, look up the times for sunrise and sunset at the White Sands! Use the time in between to cool off, eat, take a shower or nap and prepare for the sunset!


Our Trip To The White Sands National Monument

  • Airport: El Paso
  • Hotels: Days Inn & Super 8
  • Restaurants: We kept it simple on this trip and ate at Chilli’s twice lol. You also have to check out Caliches Frozen Custard
  • Photo Locations Within White Sands:
    • Alkali Flat Trail: We chose to explore the Alkali Flat Trail. All white sand dunes. No plants. White sparkly sand for as far the eye can see.
    • Dune Life Nature Trail: Even though we did not hike this trail, you may want to explore the diverse eco-system including all kinds of plants and animals within the dunes.
    • All trails are family friendly. We saw many people of all ages sledding down the dunes on waxed plastic snow saucers. You can rent these at the Visitor center.
  • Other Things To Do:
    • Wine Tasting: At the Heart Of The Desert. So tasty! And you can also try local grown pistachios with all kinds of different flavors. We love and bought a bag of the garlic flavored pistachios.
    • The World’s Largest Pistachio: Go and see the largest pistachio we have ever seen at McGinn’s Pistachio Land. They also offer free wine tasting and of course free pistachio samples to try 🙂

Want to see the next trip from our bucket list? Click here to continue reading…

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