Return to Port Aransas and Rockport, Texas

It had been several months since I’d been to Port Aransas and Rockport, but when the opportunity arose to shoot for a land developer along beautiful Capano Bay, I packed up the family and made a working vacation out of it. All four days offered amazing sunrises and sunsets. I had tried to time the trip with favorable forecasts, and fortunately colorful skies smiled up on us.

Having my family along with me in Port Aransas was an added bonus. My seven year old daughter willingly rolled out of bed one morning to head down to the beach (chasing crabs and looking for seashells) while I shot Caldwell Pier in the glory of an amazing sunrise. She even found a starfish, something I’d not seen in my previous trips down there.

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October Autumn at Caldwell Pier, Port Aransas 25 : Prints Available

It was a glorious sunrise along the beach at Port Aransas. This is one of Texas’ favorite beach destinations, and this sunrise shows why. In the foreground, Caldwell Pier stretches more than 1000 feet into the warm gulf waters on this October morning. The only company I had this morning were the gulls and sand crabs and my youngest daughter (who shockingly rolled out of bed to accompany on this morning of work. Behind me, chased sand crabs and even found a star fish.) Doesn’t get much better than this!

Capano Bay was nice. If I had a lot of money and wanted to buy some oceanside property that wasn’t in Hawaii or Florida, this would be a good option. One evening after shooting sunset, I sat with my family on the end of a pier. In front of us was a cove with water as smooth as glass. To my girls’ delight, the quiet was broken by two dolphins playing and chasing little fish. We watched until dark, then drove back to our room for the night. I’m sure dolphins danced in their dreams on that evening.

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Autumn Sunrise in Rockport, Texas 1 : Prints Available

On a quiet evening along the shoreline of Copano Bay near Rockport, Texas, a beautiful sunset graced this tranquil September ocean view. Out in the bay, two dolphins played and chased small fish as I made my way around banks photographing the clouds and pier from different angles. Large fish occasionally broke the surface of the still water as well, breaking the evening’s silence. When I’m outdoors at times like this I really enjoy the solitude and the beauty of this Texas coastline.

The harbor at Rockport/Fulton is also a nice place to photograph sunrises. With boats in the water on a still morning, the area has many opportunities and angles that await.

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October Morning in Rockport Harbor 20 : Prints Available

Boats in Rockport Harbor along the Texas coast rest in the sanctuary of this little cover. The sun’s first light was just rising in the east, turning the sky into deep oranges and blues. Fortunately, on this October morning the air was calm and made for smooth water, perfect conditions for capturing the quiet of dawn.

A few parting thoughts:

1 – Why are photographers so secretive with their locations? I’d contacted a few locals who work there about various locations but was met with vague generalities and avoidance. Maybe I’m different, but I usually try to help out folks when they are asking about photography options as long as I know they won’t trespass or destroy the environment. I think some people take themselves way too seriously.

2- The ferry between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas – it was fun the first time, but I do get tired of waiting in line, sometimes for over an hour – to take a 10 minute ride. Why don’t you sell the ferries and invest in a long, high bridge that works like the bridge from Corpus Christi to Port Aransas? Good grief that was frustrating.

3 – We ate a great meal at Paradise Key in Rockport. Would definitely go back there for seafood. The Louisiana girl who waited on our table was great, especially with her Cajun accent.

4 – A good time was had by all. I hope to get back down there again.

Next stop: the Guadalupe Mountains

ViyaCon Dios, my friends!


Photographing Port Aransas in June

The Texas coast is a favorite beach destination for Texans. It is relatively close and accessible, has affordable accommodations, and has a little sand in which to wiggle your toes. I recently had the opportunity to spend several days down there –primarily to photograph Port Aransas and the beach front in that area.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a beach person. And I think I was spoiled in my youth – just out of college – as I backpacked Europe on the cheap, sleeping on warm sands in the Cinque Terre of the Italian Rivera and strolling on the shimmering sands of south France (all the while living out of a backpack and sleeping on trains – just so you know we were not traveling in style!) My wife and I even took several trips like this in our first years of marriage. Two kids later, and those days of carefree trekking are but a vague memory. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. So with the kids out of school, I was able to take my family with me on a little photography expedition along the Texas Riveria!

I certainly don’t know the coastline like I know the Texas Hill Country, but I’ve been to Corpus Christi, Rockport, and Port A a few times. If I were a birder, this would be a paradise for photography. While I don’t have the patience to stalk our feathered friends, I was able to incorporate many of the seagulls and herons into the images. I also obsess over weather forecasts before trips, checking every outlet I can find in the days leading up to departure. For this trip I did not decide to drive to the coast until just a few hours before we left. The timing paid off, and several sunrises and sunsets were filled with oranges, blues, pinks, and other pastel shades.

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Port Aransas Caldwell Pier Sunrise 2 : Prints Available

Seagulls soar overhead and follow the coastline near Port Aransas, Texas, on a colorful summer sunrise. This image of the gulf coast is several photographs stitched together. First, the coast, pier, and sunrise were captured. To capture the seagulls that were everywhere, I increased the shutter speed to freeze the birds in flight. The two were blended together to show the beautiful scene that played out along the beach that morning.

For this trip, I mainly stayed along the beach near Horace Caldwell Pier (seen below).

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Port Aransas – Caldwell Pier Panorama : Prints Available

This panorama of the beach at Port Aransas with Caldwell Harbor in the distance was taken at sunrise on a beautiful (and windy) June morning. The sky lit up with color and the seagulls ran along the sand.

This image is available in custom sizes. Please contact me for more information.

This structure is a fishing pier that juts out 1200 feet into the gulf, putting anglers in prime position to hook their next meal. For me, this pier served as a natural point of interest both from the side and from beneath. I always look for symmetry, whether in nature or in man made structures, and this pier offered exactly that.

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Beneath Caldwell Pier at Port Aransas 1 : Prints Available

Horace Caldwell Pier appears here in the evening as lights from the fishing bridge light up sectoins of the walkway and the water. I loved the symmetry of this structure. The pier reaches 1200 feet out into the Gulf of Mexico from the Port Aransas beach and offers fishermen a place to (try to) catch dinner.

Along the beach, my girls and I discovered that seagulls are not shy about begging for food, so when we smuggled some extra bread from of an overpriced pseudo-seafood restaurant, the gulls were quite pleased. They were skilled at catching morsels of bread in the air, and I used this trick later in the evening to capture these graceful creatures in flight during a beautiful sunset.

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Port Aransas Seagull Sunset 1 : Prints Available

Along a quiet beach in Port Aransas, sea gulls glide in the breeze as the sun sets to the west. With the last light along the Texas coast, the low clouds turn orange and purple as the evening quickly comes to a close along this beautiful area of Texas.

If you have question about the details of these images, please feel free to contact me. I suspect there is much more to Port Aransas than just the beach. And that just opens up the opportunity for another trip – perhaps in the fall when the temperatures are not so hot. In the meantime, safe and happy travels to everyone out there!

Vaya con Dios, Texas!
~ Rob