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| p.1 #14 · Dallas Texas, a rental car and one week off .... |
Ok so I should Drive to Austin and maybe also Big Bend? if you have some suggestions kdowning, I would be very happy!
Let's put it this way, I've lived in Austin 10 years and I don't know anyone who has ever come to visit and not enjoyed it. I'd highly recommend it.
Another poster had actually PM'd me and asked for this list, so I had it mostly ready anyways.
1. The UT campus has a lot of unique points of interest. It's not really landscape worthy I guess, but with a number of statues, fountains, the UT tower and the classic buildings it can make for a fun afternoon.
2. The Pennybacker bridge (commonly referred to as the 360 bridge) has a great overlook to capture sunrise or sunset over lake austin. I've also seen some amazing time lapsed images that include cars crossing the bridge or even a passing lightning storm.
3. The Zilker park botanical gardens offer some great views on which to shoot ladybird johnson lake and the city skyline (a few years ago they started charging for a photographers pass, but I believe it is only for photo shoots involving human subjects such as models or for a wedding, but you might want to check). The umlauf sculpture gardens are also right across the street and also have some very unique statues. And the zilker park and auditorium shores hike and bike trails will give you even more unique angles to view the skyline and the bridges over the lake.
4. The state capital is always a fun shoot as well, inside and out.
5. If you're feeling a little crazy 6th street never lacks action and presents some unique photo ops. It's a surprisingly safe area as long as you're alert.
For more traditional landscapes, you should consider heading west out towards the hill country. I highly recommend it, especially if you have a car and time to burn.
6. For something close to Austin, be sure to check out lake Travis. There are a number of overlooks on 620 (St. Lukes church is a good one and Mansfield damn), and parks (Windy Point and Tom Hughes Park) and public boat launches you can visit.
7. A little bit further out Hamilton pool is always a fun shoot; although it's a bit of a drag that the park doesn't open until well after sunrise. And if you're not there first thing you will be competing with kids swimming, especially in the summer. So be early or get creative.
8. Fredericksburg is an amazing little german town about 50-60 minutes outside Austin. You will also see a number of opportunities to shoot some fun country scenes out that way, and when the wildflowers are in bloom you will see them all over the place down 290. There are also a number of wineries within 10 miles of the town.
9. If you do head west, you can also plan to stop at Perdenales falls state park on the way. I've never been lucky enough to get much from my trips there (low water or wrong time of day), but i've seen some fun shots from others.
10. And if you make it out to Fredericksburg, Enchanted Rock state park (one of my favorite places in central Texas) is just another 15-20 minutes down RM 965.
Big bend is also a phenomenal trip. There's so many different types of shots in just that one park. The drive is a long one though, I've never made it in less than 8 hours and that's from southwest Austin. If you plan to go that far, I would highly recommend stopping in San Antonio for a night. The riverwalk and the Alamo alone are worth the trip, especially if you're a history buff.
Also, McDonald Observatory (just north of Fort Davis) is worth a stop if the weather is clear and you're driving down I-10 to big bend. Pretty unique place.
Hope this all helps and you enjoy your time in the Lone Star State. There's no place like it.