The San Antonio Riverwalk

Have you been to the San Antonio Riverwalk?  It's beautiful!

I grew up in San Antonio, TX - or at least I partly did.  I'm an Army Brat, which means my family moved around a lot while I was growing up.  Maybe that's where I got my love of travel.  Hmmm.

Anyways, I moved to SA in the middle of the 5th Grade, and finished out High School there.  It was a good place to grow up, though I was ready to move on when High School was over.  As my Mom puts it, I have "itchy feet".  I just like to move.  Of course, I guess I didn't get far, since I just went to Austin - but I have been making up for it ever since!  Anyways...

Sunrise at Casa Rio along the Riverwalk

As a kid growing up in San Antonio, I didn't really love it.  It was a fine place to grow up, but I wasn't inspired by the town, so to speak.  However, as a photographer, I have developed a greater appreciation for San Antonio.  When I lived there, I never thought in photographic terms, but the city is quite beautiful.  The Riverwalk, which is a network of walkways lining the San Antonio River throughout downtown, is a prime example.  It sits one level below the street, so you are shielded from the noise of traffic, and can amble along and enjoy all the shops, bars and restaurants.  It's purely pedestrian, which is great.

In particular, I recommend you get up early on a Sunday morning and get out to shoot it.  Even if you aren't a photographer, get up early and walk around down there.  It's very peaceful at dawn - quite a contrast to the rest of the day!  As you can imagine, it gets incredibly crowded during the rest of the day and night.  

On a recent Sunday morning, I did just that and went out to shoot it.  I basically had it to myself, which was fabulous.  There's nothing quite like wandering a normally crowded tourist destination and being able to take photos without a bunch of tourists in the way.  It's awesome.  I try and do that no matter where I travel.  There's nothing like the silence of a city in the wee hours of morning.

This is an iPhone shot from that morning.  Not bad, right?  See all the tourists?  Me neither!  :-)

So today's photos are from a few spots along the Riverwalk that I found pretty enough to capture and share with you (and believe me, I have plenty more to share).  The waterfall and fountains in the photos down below are at the Hyatt Regency, but you have to walk through the hotel (away from the Riverwalk) to get to them.  It's worth it.  

When you are done, you can pop up to street level, cross the street, and see the Alamo while you are at it.  I'm just trying to make it easy for you!  And yes, the Alamo is worth a visit, even if it's at sunrise and it isn't open yet.  In fact, that's the best time for photography.  You can just stand there in Alamo Plaza and imagine the history that took place.  I feel like I can do that when it's just me.  When it's crowded, not so much.

And below is a photo I took almost 5 years ago from Casa Rio (the subject of the first 2 pics up above).  I just ran across it in my library, and had never processed it.  I figured I would toss it out there with this post, seeing as how the RAW files have just collected dust for 5 years.  It's good to get photos out of their dark storage compartments and let them see the light of day!  Better late than never, right?  :-)

A photo of sunset from Casa Rio, along the San Antonio Riverwalk - taken in November 2009.

So enjoy this little tour of a small slice of the San Antonio Riverwalk.  It's well worth a visit, and an early rise one morning, to check it all out.  And while all of these shots are from one small section of it, the Riverwalk actually continues for quite a long ways.  I'll be back another time with more shots for ya.  Have fun out there!

This is the Alamo, in case you didn't remember it.  Haha, see what I'm doing there?  And this is sunrise.  No tourists!