Dog Days of Winter

As we approach February, I’m already looking forward to March. As those around me know, my least favorite month is February. It is usually cold, gloomy, windy, and lacking in any color. These past few weeks I’ve gone out to shoot around Lady Bird Lake, but the lack of green on many of the trees leave the images feeling drab and lifeless. Here is an aerial view of downtown shot with my drone. While the Austin skyline looks nice, notice the lack of green along the banks.

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Aerial View of Downtown Austin in January 1 : Prints Available

From high above Lady Bird Lake, this is a bird’s eye view of the Austin, Texas, and the downtown skyilne. Below is Lady Bird Lake and also a portion of the Zilker Park Hike and Bike Trail. This aerial image was taken on a beautiful morning in central Texas.

And I haven’t much bothered with shooting out in the Hill Country, though that time is coming soon with the advent of spring in just about 6 weeks or so.

With all my disgruntledness (is this a word?) about this time of year, one location that does produce for a few weeks at this time of year is Zilker Park’s Lou Neff Point. While the trees lining this portion of the Colorado River are without leaves, at sunrise the sun shows itself straight down the river. This can lead to spectacular sunrises over the water and the Austin skyline. On very cold and calm mornings, you might be lucky and find a mist rising up from the warmer water. This image comes from one of those mornings:

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January Sunrise in Austin, Texas 1 : Prints Available

On a frigid January morning, steam rises off of Lady Bird Lake as the first light of day begins to show over the downtown Austin skyline.

I shot from this same location for over an hour one morning. The change in lighting was dramatic – from 45 minutes before sunrise when Austin glowed beneath the fading darkness to a few minutes after sunrise when light streamed through the mist.

Other than that, I’m just biding time until spring begins to show up again. With trips planned to photograph bluebonnets in Big Bend in March, and all sorts of wildflowers across central throughout the Spring, I should probably just enjoy the down time for a while!


In other news, I’m pleased to say one of my Texas wildflower images will be in a new Austin hotel opening in the fall of 2016. This field of flowers will be 116 feet long and accentuated with textured glass. I look forward to seeing the final product.


I hope everyone fares well in the dog days of February. We should have a very colorful spring as long as El Nino doesn’t turn off the water faucet. If so, I’ll be posting wildflower updates on my facebook page as well as on here, so feel free to follow along.

Happy travels, Texas!


Texas Images

Downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake

If you’ve been to the Austin area, you know the skyline is a mess with all the new construction. But there are some nice views to be found. The cranes at various points in the downtown area have pushed me to look for a few more unique angles, and that has been fun and challenging. The past few weekends I’ve spent sunrises exploring the nooks and crannies of the Zilker Park Hike and Bike trail along Lady Bird Lake. I’m really intrigued by the angles and leading lines of a few of the bridges. One of the best views in my opinion is from beneath the Pedestrian Bridge seen here:

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Lady Bird Lake, Austin Texas, Summer Day : Prints Available

Lady Bird Lake is the place to be on a summer day in August in Austin, Texas. For those who enjoy the water, you can find plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun and cool off at the same time. Here, near the Pedestrian Bridge that spans the waters of this slow moving portion of the Colorado River (known as Town Lake to long-time locals), kayakers, canoers, and paddle-boarders enjoy a summer afternoon.

I love the curves along with the folks out enjoying the best Austin has to offer.

Another piece of interesting architecture comes from beneath Lamar Bridge. While this image is taken during the afternoon hours, at times when the sun streams down the corridor of Lady Bird Lake just after sunrise during the cooler months, the arches glow in a soft morning orange light.

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Lady Bird Lake Summer from Lamar Bridge : Prints Available

Kayakers enjoy the shade of Lamar Bridge on Lady Bird Lake. Nearby, the Austin skyline rises into the hot summer air, offering great views for those who get out to paddle around.

Another place from which I photographed the high rises was beneath the First Street Bridge. I’m not sure how I feel about this view yet. On one hand, I like the leading lines and the angles that appear from both the bridge structure and the reflection. I’m still trying to figure out if it works for me.

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Austin Skyline from First St Bridge : Prints Available

Early on a late August morning, the downtown Austin, Texas, comes to life. This picture that overlooks Lady Bird Lake was taken from beneath the 1st Street Bridge.

In any case, exploring different perspectives is always fun, and trying to find something that hasn’t been done before is usually a challenge.

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Austin Scullers on Lady Bird Lake 1 : Prints Available

Before sunrise on a warm August morning, scullers glide across the smooth water of Lady Bird Lake (also know as Town Lake to long-time locals). In the distance, the high rises of the downtown Austin skyline rise into the morning air.

Thanks for reading, and happy travels!

~ Rob

From the Fridge to the Frying Pan – Welcome back to Texas!

I’ve spent the past 6 weeks exploring and photographing the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. While I love Texas, I also enjoy the cooler temperatures and sweeping mountain vistas the high country offers. From the San Juans to the Maroon Bells to Denver, I head up there each summer in hopes of climbing a few 14,000 foot peaks and photographing the amazing landscapes, including Colorado wildflowers, along the way.

Colorado wildflowers fill a meadow near Vail, Colorado.
A patch of pink paintbrush fills the meadow on a hike to Booth Lake near Vail, Colorado. These Rocky Mountain wildflowers are beautiful in late July and bring color to a majestic landscape.
From one 14,000 foot peak (Humbolt) to another two peaks (Crestone Needle and Crestone Peak), the views of the Colorado landscape are remarkble.
From the 14,064 summit of Humbolt Peak, this panorama shows the majestic Crestone Needle and Crestone Peak, both 14ers, across a beautiful valley of green. The clouds were streaming over the rocky peaks and created a landscape not seen by too many folks.

For most of the summer, we stay at about 9,000 feet in altitude. Most days, the temperatures barely reach 70, but many times we enjoy mid-60s with afternoon rain a common occurrence. But work calls, and I had to return to the Hill Country this past week. Immediately upon my return, I only had time to throw the luggage in the living room before heading to downtown to photograph the Austin skyline. I had a client that wanted a current image – cranes and all – of the downtown area to contrast that photograph with one taken in 2008. When I left the mountains, it was 41 degrees. When I arrived down on Town Lake (aka Lady Bird Lake for the new arrivals), the temperatures were over 100. Good grief! Still, it is nice to be home. And the boardwalk that skirts the waters of the Texas version of the Colorado River does offer nice views of the highrises. I even saw a few bats. Here is a panorama of the skyline taken from the boardwalk that evening.

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Austin Skyline Pano from the Boardwalk 1 : Prints Available

This Austin, Texas, panorama was taken on a very warm July evening from the Boardwalk that runs along Lady Bird Lake. Several images were stitched together to make up this composite of the downtown skyline as well as the path that bikers and joggers enjoy.

Next up for me, weather permitting, is the Perseid Meteor Shower in a few weeks. The moon phase will be perfect (new moon at peak) and forecasts say we could see up to 100 meteors per hour. That would be amazing.

Stay tuned!

~ Rob
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