Travel

Texas Hill Country Destination | Wimberley, Texas

The Texas Hill Country presents wonderful opportunities for day trips from the San Antonio and Austin.  I find myself hitting my brakes; locating a safe place to pull over; and jumping out of my car to make a photograph. It is always the same whether it is a derelict peach stand, a funny sign-post, a poignant notice, or a breathtaking vista: I must have repeated this event a thousand times.

Unique Texas Hill Country Ambience

Texas Hill country Antique Shop

 

This month as my husband and I celebrated our thirty- seventh wedding anniversary we made the trip from our home in New Braunfels, Texas to the vibrant small town of Wimberley.  It’s just twenty-five miles from our home and we enjoy all of the amenities that Wimberley has to offer. In 2015 Wimberley suffered a blow when Cypress Creek and the Blanco River flooded in May and then in October of that year. The city has adopted the “Wimberley Strong” banner and the city is rebounding in true Texas fashion.  This article from USA Today highlights the spirit of the town and the people that choose to live here. 

 

Hiking along Cypress Creek in Wimberley, Texas.  The area is recovering from floods.

Celebrating 37 years of marriage to my husband Tom Richardson.

Beautiful Texas Wildflowers

Serenity Farmhouse Inn, Bed and Breakfast and Wedding Venue is tucked away in a lovely wooded area about eight miles outside of Wimberley.  We were greeted warmly by the proprietor of the inn and treated to wine and chocolate as we settled in to our bungalow.  In the morning our breakfast was delivered to us and it was delicious! 

 

Farmer's Market Bungalow, Serenity Farms bread and Breakfast and Wedding Venue

We were off to hike the Cypress Creek Nature Trail by mid morning. On our way out to the trail we stopped in Annie James Boutique and I found a great outfit for my portfolio show next month.  What a great selection. Our hike was fun.  It is great to see the area being protected and given the chance to rebound from the flood damage. After our hike we had a snack and made a trip out to Duchman Family Winery for a glass of wine.  We had a great visit with the sommelier, and ended up signing up for their wine club!  

 

Annie James Boutique

Bottling and Labeling at the Duchman Family Winery

Enjoying Texas Wines

Celebrating 37 Years of Marriage

Please take a moment to check out my travel and landscape photography in my Places portfolio and contact me if you are interested in my Hill Country Places Workshops that will commence in the spring of 2018.

Bluebonnet Photography | New Braunfels, Texas Photography

Spring in the Texas Hill Country provides many remarkable opportunities to capture both portrait and landscape photographs. Texas wildflowers line the roadways, fill the fields and populate the yards of family homes and ranches. In March and April photographers, flower and nature enthusiasts and families take to the road to enjoy the beauty that colors the state.

The Bluebonnet House north of Marble Falls, Texas | New Braunfels Photographer

The Bluebonnet House north of Marble Falls, Texas | New Braunfels Photographer

There are iconic locations such as the much loved "Bluebonnet House," in Burnet County just north of Marble Falls on Highway 281.  This 2017 season the bluebonnets surrounding the landmark were reportedly the best bloom in the past 5 years. There are also more intimate locations tucked away in neighborhoods and off ranch roads that provide a beautiful background for portraits and family photos.

Clothing choice is very important for portraits.| New Braunfels Portrait Photography      

Clothing choice is very important for portraits.| New Braunfels Portrait Photography

 

 

On March 7, 1901, the twenty seventh Texas legislature adopted the bluebonnet, flower of the annual legume, Lupinus subcarnosus, as the state flower. The history of the flower goes back to Native American legend. More recently former First Lady of the United States Ladybird Johnson was responsible for populating the roadways of Texas with remarkable wildflowers of all kinds. She made the Texas bluebonnets and the state of Texas stand out with the roadway beautification program

As a portrait photographer, the bluebonnets of Texas make a wonderful backdrop for client sessions. It is important to choose unique and colorful backgrounds that also offer clean simplicity for the ultimate portrait success.  

Young sisters in an early springtime bluebonnet field. | Texas Hill Country Portrait Photographer

Young sisters in an early springtime bluebonnet field. | Texas Hill Country Portrait Photographer

The flowers are a special part of Texas history and heritage, and it is important to remember good wildflower etiquette. First and foremost don't stop and set up a photography session along a busy highway. It is important to find a public field that is open to personal photography. If in doubt, always ask permission because many bluebonnet fields are on private property. After you decide on an area for your photographs always check carefully to make sure there are no snakes or fire ants in the bluebonnet patch that you are photographing.  It is not illegal to pick bluebonnets, but is never necessary to pick the blooms and often the flowers grow in natural patches that allow for stepping and sitting around the delicate flowers.

Delicate and beautiful, and a Texas treasure. | Texas Nature Photography

Delicate and beautiful, and a Texas treasure. | Texas Nature Photography

The 2017 bluebonnets have gone to seed as we head into May.  However there are Indian Blanket, White Prickly Poppy. Brown Eyed Susan, and Pink Evening Primrose that grace the roadways and fields during late spring.  Texans and visitors to the Lone Star State are fortunate to enjoy the beautiful Spring. There are many wonderful places to visit and photograph each spring in the Texas Hill Country. 

It is not too early to plan for photographs in the bluebonnets.  This time of year is a great time to visit and tour the state.  If you would like to be placed on the calendar for photographs next year email me at marcia@faces-places-photography.com to be placed on the calendar for bluebonnet photographs or photo workshop in the spring of 2018.

Wurstfest 2016 | New Braunfels Texas | Hill Country Travel Photographer

Wurstfest is a Texas sized German festival that is held for 10 days in early November in New Braunfels, Texas.  The first festival was in 1961, and over the years it has provided a great deal of fun for generations of New Braunfels residents as well as raising money for community organizations from the local community.  Great food, beer, wonderful music, carnival rides and camaraderie delight the Wurstfest attendees every fall. The history of Wurstfest reminds us what a small town can accomplish when community leaders work together for a common goal.

As a documentary event photographer I visited Wurstfest for the first time in 2015 to photograph a photo essay for an editorial project. I went back to the fest this year for an assignment covering the Texas Hill Country in the fall. The spirit and energy of Wurstfest is contagious.  

I lived a total of 10 years in Germany during my years as a military child and a military spouse.  When I was 18 I moved to Munich, Germany to study at the University of Maryland, Munich Campus. I was able to study abroad in one of the greatest European cities.  Oktoberfest is held every year in Munich.  It is actually held in September, in 2017 it will be September 16, 2017 to September 26, 2017.  In 2016 there were 5.6 million visitors to the world's biggest fair.  When I walk onto the Wurstfest grounds I can really feel that same festive anticipation.  Wurstfest is the real thing! 

The Texas Hill Country is full of unique festivals such as Wurstfest that are worth attending and equally as fun to photograph.  The places that you can visit provide and wealth of photography opportunities.  The fall is a beautiful time to visit the hill county.  It is a great place to learn travel or event photography.  Last week I wrote a blog about my recent visit to Lost Maples State Natural Area in Vanderpool, Texas.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Wurstfest, or travel in the Hill Country.

 

 

 

Alex Meixner, of the Alex Meixner Band, opens Wurstfest on Friday, November 4, 2016 with dignitaries from the town of New Braunfels, Texas.

Alpenmusikanten performs on November 4, 2016 at the Stelzenplatz in New Braunfels, Texas at Wurstfest..

From the balcony at Stelzenhaus you can watch the singing and dancing from a unique perspective.

 Buttons are everywhere reminding fest attendees of New Braunfels German roots.

New Braunfels Travel Photographer | New Camera | Canon 5D Mark IV

It's great to be back!  The whirlwind that has been my life over the past several months has kept me from regularly contributing to my blog, but my photography story needs to be documented and that has prompted me to start writing more regularly.

I have a new camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.  The touchscreen LCD screen is the feature that I enjoy most, but the weight and speed of the camera also contribute to its "awesomeness." There were 4.5 years between the release of the 5D Mark III and the 5D Mark IV and I am pleased that I waited for the release of the new model as opposed to purchasing the 5D III, as I was tempted to do many times.  I had to remind myself that "good things come to those who wait!"

According to Digital Camera Review the Canon Mark IV receives substantial upgrades with a higher-resolution sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus, 4K video capture, and upgraded AF system, a touchscreen, improved weather-sealing, built in Wi-Fi, an interval timer and GPS.

A short review of the camera:

https://youtu.be/9FqX6qblyJ8

When you have a new camera there are a few suggestions that will help you become familiar with it:

1.  Read the manual. I know in this day and age that there is a wealth of information available right at your fingertips.  Google, You Tube and photo classes are all wonderful, but nothing compares to a well rounded understanding of the hardware and software that makes your camera unique.  It also forces you to try each menu and button on the camera.

Lost Maples State Natural Area, Vanderpool, Texas

2. Practice with your camera in a non-stressful setting. Give yourself a day to play with the new features.  I have found that the only way to really learn photography is to go out and take pictures.  When you are shooting the subjects that you love you naturally will spend more time with details.  I truly enjoy travel and landscape photography. There is nothing better than taking a day off to spend time with my camera in the Texas Hill Country.

 

 

Lost Maples State Natural Area, Vanderpool, Texas

3) Print your photos.  I learn the most about my photographs when I print them.  I know that I might sound like a throwback to film days when negatives need to be printed to contact sheets for review.  However the system works. Technology moves forward but the old fashioned print on paper tells you so much about the photograph that you see on your computer.

Lost Maples State Natural Area, Vanderpool, Texas

When you have a question about traveling in the Texas Hill Country please don't hesitate to contact me.  Also, check out my Places gallery to many of the wonderful places to visit in the hill country.

Lost Maples State Natural Area, Vanderpool, Texas

Enjoy your fall travels!!!