Celebrated in Mexico and other lands, Day of the Dead was completely foreign to me until I moved to Austin in the late 90s. A full-on Yankee gringo, and I confess it struck me as a tad morbid for awhile there–a national celebration that includes everything from mad gravesite altars to skulls made of sugar. My tribe can’t quite wrap its collective head around doing more than placing a few solemn flowers by a headstone every now and then.

But one day, around 2000 I think, I stumbled onto a tiny Mexican cemetery in south Austin, on a side road, near nothing much at all. The Cemeterio Mexicano de Maria De La Luz was, and is, colorful and a little crazy, and it seems like a good way to be remembered.

This year I took my camera out on November 2nd to see what I could find. Here’s Part 1 — the color shots. Part 2 coming…