Pedernales Falls is close to home, so I frequent this area whenever I can. I’ve wanted to photograph one particular cascade for a while now. For the perspective I desired, I had to cross the river’s path, but either the river has been too high - not safe to cross – or too low, and the trickle over the limestone rocks would have barely shown up in a long exposure.
Finally, on the last day of February last week, I headed out for what looked to be a promising sunset. At the namesake of Pedernales Falls State Park resides a series of pools where water collects, then spills over and gently flows downstream to another pool. In between these pools when the water is not a rushing torrent, barely submerged rock makes it possible to navigate from one side of the river to the other provided your shoes have good grips on the bottom. So on this night when I arrived, the water was just about perfect, and I was able to cross between the emerald green pools to reach the small waterfall, if you can even call it that, and find the proper perspective.
The sun was setting pretty early behind the ridge to the west, so I quickly went to work, setting up the tripod and finding the best focal settings.
After I photographed the precise moment the sun fell behind the ridge, I still had a 45-minute wait until the official sunset and the window when the sky may or may not turn colors.
So I waited, enjoyed the sound of the gurgling water as the river flowed down and through the rocks, and appreciated a few minutes of peace. Meanwhile, the clouds overhead were starting to put on a show. I walked up to the nearest pool and spent a few minutes photographing the reflection of the patchwork of clouds and their reflection in the clear water. I was pleased with the way this turned out.
A little later, I was beginning to have my doubts about the sky turning pink and red. A cloud bank appeared to hang on the horizon in the northwest, but I was not able to see where the sun was setting because it was already behind a ridge. Just about the time I was considering moving to get set up for nighttime photography, a pinkish tint began to appear in those distant clouds, and within about five minutes, the sky was starting to glow in pastel pink and red hues. The cascade, the rocks, and the sky made for a beautiful sight.
More photographs came out of this evening, so feel free to see more in my Pedernales gallery.
If you have the chance to explore this area, I hope you enjoy your time as much as I enjoy being out there.
Safe travels, Texas.