Patrick Soren Roberts and Jose A. Del Real were married Sept. 30 in Leidig Meadow at Yosemite National Park in California. Autrey Nassar, a Universal Life minister, officiated on the banks of the Merced River in Yosemite Valley.
Mr. Roberts (left), 44, is a political scientist at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization in Santa Monica, Calif. He is an associate professor at Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs in Arlington, and the author of “Disasters and the American State: How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and the Public Prepare for the Unexpected.” (Cambridge University Press, 2016). He graduated cum laude from the University of Dallas, received a master’s degree in political philosophy from Claremont Graduate University in California and a doctoral degree in government from the University of Virginia.
He is the son of Sharon A. Roberts of Austin, Texas, and John M. Roberts of Victoria, Texas, and the stepson of Donna A. Roberts. His mother retired as a computer scientist at the University of Texas. His father retired as the publisher of The Victoria Advocate, a newspaper in Victoria.
Mr. Del Real, 29, is based in Los Angeles as a domestic correspondent for the national desk of The New York Times. He graduated cum laude from Harvard.
He is a son of Josefina Perez and Jose M. Del Real-Soto of Monte Escobedo, Zacatecas, in Mexico. His mother retired as a housekeeper at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. His father raises cattle on a family ranch in Zacatecas.
The couple met in 2015 at a mutual friend’s party in Washington, but did not start dating until a year later, after they ran into each other and then met for a drink at a Washington bar. Mr. Roberts and Mr. Del Real said they decided to elope to Yosemite, partly to find some tranquillity, easier to achieve in a place with limited cellphone service.