Go to "Santa Fe, NM" on the google maps. Zoom out a bit, click Maps->Photos. Take notes.
Nice easy drive to Los Alamos and Bandelier with oodles of photo-ops. And as mentioned the High Road to Taos is the very essence or rural Northern New Mexico, but a lot more than an hour trip. D. H. Lawrence highly recommends it. The low road along the river is also pretty nice, and much quicker. And don't miss the Taos gorge.
Santa Fe is on the border of both distinctly desert and distinctly mountainous areas. Take your choice. Whatever else, August is a pretty month in New Mexico and Santa Fe in particular will be at its loveliest. Lots of monsoonal marshmallow cloud buildups. Plan outdoor activities for early in the day. Intense downpours are possible in the late afternoons but only for brief periods, usually.
Some nice photo galleries within an easy walk of the honky-tonk Plaza. Verve, Andrew Smith, and Monroe galleries are especially worthwhile, there are others as well.
Don't leave without a bowl of green chili chicken cream soup. Also, I hope you like green chili a lot, because the only food in New Mexico that does not contain at least a 'tich of green chili is ice cream. Red's OK, don't get me wrong, but Green is the real thing. Non fire eaters should order an extra side of puffy, fried sopapilla bread with honey to dilute the heat a little bit.
Also, my favorite gallery-gal Jeannie highly recommends Il Piatto restaurant at 95 Marcy St, which would be one block north of the Plaza, possibly walking north on Lincoln. Good food, and low prices by central Santa Fe standards. Maybe even not so much Green chili.