National Geographic : 1939 Jan
Photograph byLuis Marden AVIATORS SOARING ABOVE THE RIO GRANDE'S MOUTH SEE THE MUDDY WATERS FLOWING FAR OUT INTO THE BLUE GULF For hundreds of centuries the stream has been tearing away soil from the Rocky Mountain region. Such material, ground into silt,hascreated theorchard-and field-covered Delta and is constantly adding to these mud flats and sand spits. Lines of breakers disclose the shallows intheGulf ofMexico where theriver ispushing the coast line seaward. In the last half of the 19th century light-draft, stern-wheel steamboats plied the 60 miles oflooping river between theGulf and Brownsville. During the War Between the States scores of foreign ships anchored near here in Mexican waters (left) to take on cotton ferried across theriver from theConfederacy.