Magnolia Pearl

Magnolia Pearl

A rusted old truck in the Texas Hill Country...

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Sunset in Fredericksburg TX

I love the Texas hill country - it's beautiful!

Ok, I know Texas isn't considered a mountainous or even hilly state, but we do have some of both, believe it or not.  And the Hill Country is a very beautiful area.  It lies about an hour west of Austin, and generally speaking the main town out there in Fredericksburg.  

As the name implies, it's an old German town and as such has a lot of Germanic influence, which is great by me.  I love Germany, so it really feels like a getaway from normal life when you are there.

Anyways, we spent a weekend up there recently celebrating my wife's birthday, and one evening we noticed that a beautiful sunset was coming together.  So being a super supportive woman, my wife said "let's hurry up and find a spot to shoot".  OK!

We drove for a bit and found a little park, and when I saw the water I knew that I was going to be firing quite a few shots here - and I did.  I loved this tree standing there alone, and the beautiful sunset behind it.

St. Mary's, Fredericksburg

I love going to church - with a camera.  :-)  

I caught this shot in Fredericksburg, TX at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  I had been in here a couple of years prior for a Christmas Eve service, and knew how beautiful it was.  In this case I just timed my visit for the middle of a weekday afternoon.  Presto!  All mine.  That’s the way I like to visit churches.  It’s best when they are empty.

I never seem to make it to church at home, but whenever I travel I find a way into a church for a little quiet time.  Well, it’s never totally quiet, because my Nikon is firing some brackets.  But’s it’s a religious experience nonetheless!

Hill country lodging

The Texas Hill Country is an area about an hour and a half west of Austin.  It is named after the rolling hills that dot the landscapes there, and is generally considered a bit of a haven away from the hustle and bustle of the bigger Texas cities.  Fredericksburg is the most well-known town in the HIll Country and it's one we try to frequent at least a couple of times per year.

Our last trip was back in March of this year, when the family rented this house for a few days.  It is always relaxing to hang out in the Hill Country and "get away from it all".  Usually we stay in Fredericksburg but this time we opted to stay out in the country, at this rental.  I loved the house and of course was busy firing brackets around the area quite a bit!

Clouds granite cactus flowers

I tend to name my photo posts based on what they are, or what you can see in the photo.  In this case, I named it based on what you see when looking from top to bottom.  I must say, sometimes it gets difficult coming up with a name each time I post!

  Here's another shot from my recent wanderings around Enchanted Rock up in the Texas hill country.  It was an awesome day for shooting - at least in my opinion.  Lots of folks want bright blue skies when they are out shooting, but I prefer some interesting clouds any day.  I feel like it adds a layer of drama that a clear sunny sky just can't compete with.  I could spend hours shooting in this area and hiking around - there is a lot to take in and the park itself is rather large.  And the pinkish granite provides a nice color pop!

At the base of Enchanted Rock

Here's another shot I took while up in the Texas hill country recently.  Specifically, this was shot at the bottom of Enchanted Rock after I had finished hiking up to the top and back down.  I saw this little stream of water and followed it, looking for a cool shot.  When I saw that big tree, I was happy.

Sunrise on a country road

I guess I could also call this "moon set on a country road" since that is the moon up there as it is making its way on its nightly journey to the other side of the world.

I got up early enough one morning while in the Texas hill country to get out and shoot the sunrise.  Plus, I wanted to get over to Luckenbach, TX and shoot that town before anyone else got there.  I figured 7am on a Monday morning ought to provide me with little interruption - and it did!  Anyways, en route I noticed how the sky was aglow with great color - plus I just like road shots - so I pulled over on this little country road and fired away!

Windswept tree at Enchanted Rock

Thanks so much to everyone who visited and commented here last week - I really appreciate it and will catch up soon!

Last week was Spring Break here in Central Texas, so the family decided to take the week off and head up to Fredericksburg, which is an awesome little town up in the Texas hill country, about 1.5 hours from Austin.  We mostly hung out and relaxed but I did get a couple of opportunities to go out and shoot.  One afternoon we decided to hike up Enchanted Rock, which is a massive pink granite boulder nearby, and which rises over 425 feet.  It's quite a climb!  It's dome-shaped, so it's a hike instead of what you would call traditional rock-climbing.

This was shot on the back side of Enchanted Rock, but you can get a feel for the size and shape of Enchanted Rock from this photo.  I saw this lone tree sitting there, seemingly braving the elements for an eternity, and just had to shoot it.  This image makes two in a row in black and white, so I think I will return to color tomorrow!  I miss color already!  :)

Dirty laundry

Most of our family met a few weekends ago up in Fredericksburg, TX for a long weekend.  "The Fred", as I like to call it, is about 1.5 hours west of Austin, up in what we refer to as the Texas Hill Country.  It's an awesome little town and I always enjoy my visits there.  We stayed in a new spot this time, which was great because it exposed me to a bit of the town I hadn't seen before.  Just around the corner was this old laundromat, which was obviously abandoned and in disrepair - in other words, perfect for photography!  I took several HDRs of this place from different angles, but to answer the obvious question - no I couldn't find a way inside!  I sure tried!

Artisans

Fredericksburg, Texas is a nice little German town that sits about an hour and a half west of Austin, up in what we refer to as the Texas hill country.  Yes, we do have hills in Texas.  It’s not all tumbleweeds blowing across flat plains -though we have that too!  Anyways, we make a few visits a year up to “The Fred”, as we affectionately call this town, and I caught this HDR image up there early one Sunday morning.  The main street is a tourist haven, which is a nice way of saying it gets crowded as hell, so any good clean HDRs there have to be early (or late, I guess - but I prefer early morning).  

I like the look of this art gallery (I love red doors), and the name of it got me thinking about all of us as photographers.  We too are all artisans in one way or another, creating photos instead of hand crafted goods, but with equal dedication to the craft.  I think of photography as an art, and with all the digital tools at our disposal we can experiment with our artistic vision to create something of equally compelling utility and importance as any “traditional” artisan, right?