I got up early and wandered around downtown San Antonio - and had it all to myself!
I'm a fan of shooting touristy areas at sunrise. Everyone is still asleep, and I can photograph normally busy spots in the blissful quiet of the morning. It's my favorite time to shoot. I feel like I can not only get better shots (without the crowds, of course), but I can get shots that otherwise would be nearly impossible. How can you REALLY see a place when it's full of tourists?
Back in January, I spent a couple of days in San Antonio and was focused (no pun intended) on capturing quite a few spots there. I shot all the old Spanish Missions, including my favorite, Mission Espada (the first Mission in Texas), I captured the Pearl Brewery area, which has been getting redeveloped (photos coming soon), and of course I just had to get to the Riverwalk.
No visit to San Antonio is complete without a stop at the Riverwalk.
So one morning I got up super early and after shooting at The Pearl Brewery, I made the short drive to the Riverwalk. After parking the car, I descended the flight of stairs down one level, and voila! I was on the Riverwalk - and it was blissfully empty. Even though it's smack dab in the middle of downtown San Antonio, this entire area feels like you are miles away from anything - especially at sunrise, when it is incredibly quiet and everything is still.
A good example of just how still it is at this time of day is the water itself. It's like glass. During the daytime when boats are cruising back and forth, it's choppy and splashing around. At sunrise, its the complete opposite. That's another reason I shoot early, because I want to be able to capture reflections, and that won't happen when the water is moving a lot.
There are quite a few bridges crossing the Riverwalk here and there, and I have my favorite spots along the Riverwalk. I wandered and shot, wandered and shot, and only came across a couple of people the whole time, and mostly they were just out jogging. I guess some tourists do get up early, but thankfully not many of them!
While the sunrise didn't wow me in any way, it was great to be able to photograph the Riverwalk and feel like I was the only one there. In comparison, I had been here the previous night, capturing these shots, and it was very busy. So a little peace and quiet is just what I needed!