I’ve been asked several time what my favorite places are around Austin, Texas, to photograph. After thinking a bit, I thought I’d come up with my Top 10 list. In the meantime, you can follow my current photographic adventures on my Facebook Photography business page. You can also find my images at one of my business sites – either Rob Greebon Photography or Images from Texas.

So, here are my Top Ten locations around the Austin area (and a few that are short drives out of town).

10 – Mount Bonnell
Located just off 2222, Mount Bonnell is the 2nd highest point in Austin and offers great views of the Colorado River and the 360 Bridge in one direction and the Austin skyline in the other. It is a short walk up some steps from the parking lot. From here, you can enjoy great sunrises and sunsets. If you shoot in the morning, the sun will be at your back. Shooting towards the river and the 360 Bridge in the evening will have the sun setting in front of you.

Mount Bonnell is an Austin icon.

The view from Mount Bonnell in Austin, Texas is great for photographing the 360 Bridge to the west and looking at the Austin skyline to the east.

9 – The Long Center
Home to world class performances, the Long Center also offers a balcony with a fabulous view of downtown Austin. At sunrise you’ll have the sky turning colors. In the evening (on a night when there is no show) you can have the Austin skyline lighting up as sunset fades.

Sunrise comes to the Austin skyline as seen from the balcony of the Long Center.

The Austin Skyline seen from the Long Center before sunrise.

The Long Center in Austin, Texas, hosts world class performances.

The Long Center in downtown Austin sits quietly in the early morning.

8 – Lou Neff Point and the Zilker Park and the Hike and Bike Trails
Take your camera and walk the trails at Zilker Park that surround Lady Bird Lake. You’ll find numerous locations to shoot from, including the foot bridges that cross over Barton Creek as it feeds into Lady Bird Lake. Swans and water fowl also provide opportunities to photograph these beautiful creatures as they enjoy lazy afternoons in the clear water.

Austinites enjoy the cool waters of Lady Bird Lake in Austin Texas on a summer afternoon.

Folks enjoy water sports on a summer afternoon in Zilker Park in the shadow of downtown Austin, Texas.

Lou Neff Point is along the Zilker Park Hike and Bike Trails, but it deserves it’s own mention. This point offers a great view of the Austin skyline across the waters of Lady Bird Lake. I love mornings here when the sun rises in front of you and lights up the sky. In the early morning calm, you can often capture a great reflection of the skyline in the water.

The Austin skyline comes to life on a cold December morning.

Daybreak appears over the Austin skyline and Ladybird Lake on a cool December morning as seen from Lou Neff Point.

7 – Zilker Park Clubhouse
The Zilker Park Clubhouse is on the opposite side of MoPac. It is often locked up with a gate, but there are trails leading to the balcony that afford you fantastic views of downtown Austin. Just down the road (before you reach the clubhouse) is a small parking area that leads to another great view of the Austin skyline. If you shoot here at sunrise, you’ll have the sun rising in front of you. In the evenings, you’ll have a backlit skyline with glass reflecting the oranges and reds of the setting sun.

Taken from the Zilker Park clubhouse, the Austin skyline comes to life at sunrise.

The Austin skyline comes to life as the first light of day appears.

6 – Congress Bridge, Lamar Bridge, and Lady Bird Lake
Also located along the Zilker Park Hike and Bike Trails, these two bridges offer opportunities to capture unique views of Austin, including kayakers and scullers, views of the state capitol (from Congress), and the interesting architecture of the bridges themselves.

A swan swims by underneath Lamar Bridge in Austin, Texas.

Lamar and Congress Bridges offer interesting architecture and unique photo opportunities.

5 – Hamilton Pool
Located about 30 minutes outside of Austin out Hamilton Pool Road, Hamilton Pool offers a chance to photograph an amazing grotto and emerald pool. You can also take a dip when the water is clean. Hamilton Pool does charge an admission, and the change in lighting offers a challenge in finding the optimal exposures. This is a location where HDR can really help you obtain a balance of lights and darks. One downfall of Hamilton Pool is that their hours are very limiting – keeping you out during the magic hours of sunrise and sunset. On the winter solstice, you have the best chance at changing colors in the sky. I was there for just this moment and stayed until the kind park ranger escoreted me out 🙂

Hamilton Pool outside of Austin, Texas, is a favorite of the locals in summertime.

Hamilton Pool is a great place to spend an afternoon and enjoy the views.

4 – The University of Texas at Austin
Famous for the UT Tower, the University of Texas also offers interesting architecture and pools to photograph. Still, the tower is an icon and one of the most photographed locations in Texas. Pick an evening when UT has the tower lit orange and your image will be further enhanced.

The UT tower is lit orange after a huge football victory

The University of Texas Tower is lit orange after the football team defeats Texas A&M.

3 – Pedernales Falls State Park
Pedernales Falls State Park is located about 45 minutes outside of Austin and is well worth the drive through rolling hills. In the spring, wildflowers bloom along the clear waters of the Pedernales River. In autumn, the cypress trees turn a brilliant orange. In summer, cool off in the cold water and enjoy an afternoon. Sunrises and sunsets offer great chances to catch the soft light. The way the river twists and turns, you can always find an angle that gives you a colorful magic hour.

Along the Pedernales River, cypress turn a vibrant orange in autumn.

Fall colors at Pedernales Falls State Park offer amazing photo opportunities.

2 – Pennybacker Bridge (also known as the 360 Bridge)
Outside of Austin at the intersection of 2222 and the 360/Capitol of Texas Highway, Percy Pennybacker designed a steel bridge that would span the rivers of the Colorado River and never touch the waters. The result, Pennybacker Bridge, is an Austin icon. On the northwest and northeast cliffs, you have wonderful views of the bridge and the hill country (from the north east cliff) or the bridge and the Austin skyline (from the northwest cliff). Recently after a few accidents by people falling off the cliffs, signs were posted in the parking lot that indicate you can’t park there. Locals seem to ignore these signs. If you are rules follower, you can still park in the nearby neighborhood around the bridge and walk. Pennybacker Bridge is a great place to enjoy a sunrise or sunset – and it doesn’t matter if you bring a camera!

The sun sets in the west and lights up the skies over Pennybacker Bridge and Austin, Texas.

Sunset comes to Austin, Texas, and the 360 Bridge on an August evening.

A perfect sunset over Pennybacker Bridge and Austin, Texas.

The moon rises in the sky on a perfect evening at the 360 Bridge in Austin, Texas

1 – The Texas State Capitol
The Texas State Capitol sits on 22 acres of lush grass, walkways, and monuments. The front and back of the capitol offer great views, especially in the early morning when you rarely find anyone around. With a soft light, you can use a wide angle to capture the grand scene of the nations’ 2nd largest capitol (second only to the capitol in Washington DC), or you can use a zoom to photograph the top of the limestone structure with the Texas and US flags. Nearly any sidewalk offers a great view. You can even walk down Congress in either direction and capture the scene with streetlights leading to the capitol grounds.

In Austin, Texas, the state capitol is a great place to photograph at sunrise.

The Texas State Capitol is calm in the early morning hours just before sunrise.

There are so many more opportunities around Austin than I can mention here. SoCo (South Congress), the Graffiti Castle, South Lamar, the bats in the late summer, and many other options are there.

These locations are some of my favorite views of Austin, and I hope to keep finding more and more places to visit. I’d love to hear your favorites. Drop me a line or make a suggestion. Thanks for Reading!
~ Rob

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In my previous post, I had offered up a picture of the Austin skyline taken from the Milago’s roof. I visited this location several times this August in an attempt to photograph the bats of Congress Bridge as they departed on their way to find their evening meal. I needed a clear, calm sunset so the bats would show up against the orange sky. (If it was cloudy, they would not show up as well).

I finally had this opportunity this past Friday evening. The sky was clear, the colors were great, and the bats started their nightly departure just after sunset. It was curious, though, because I was photographing from the Austin Hyatt the week prior and the bats left about 7:30pm – 40 minutes before sunset. Not sure what was going on with their internal clock!

Nevertheless, the bats soared into the Texas Hill Country sky and made a plume of bodies heading south. This Austin Skyline image shows some of the more well know buildings in Austin such as the Austonian, the 360 Condos, the Springs Condos, and the Austin Hyatt. Ladybird Lake was hosting more than several sightseeing boats, and folks were gathered all along Congress Bridge to watch the nightly spectacle.

This Image of the Austin Skyline shows Mexican Free-tailed bats soaring into the night to find food.

Bats soar into the evening sky for their nightly search for food in this Austin Skyline Image.

For more Austin Skyline Images, please visit my business website at Images from Texas
or follow me on Facebook at My Facebook Photography Page

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to shoot for the Springs Condominiums in downtown Austin. This Austin highrise is renovating the 42nd floor Penthouse so I had balconies to photograph the Austin skyline that faced both north, east, south, and west. The location offered a great panorama of Austin, from Ladybird Lake almost directly below me to I-35 in the distance. I was able to capture Texas State Capitol images, as well as photos of the UT Tower. I also obtained some unique perspectives of the Frost Bank Tower with a Southwest Airlines jet landing in the background. All in all, I hope they can use the images of Austin, and I loved the view from this amazing location. Thanks, Springs Condominiums!

Here is an Austin Skyline Image looking down at Ladybird Lake. The Austin Hyatt is on the south side of the river and the Milago Condominiums in the largest building in the distance, with I-35 behind it. This Austin image was two images blended together. The sky was a longer exposure to show the clouds moving across the sky.

An Austin Skyline Image taken from the Springs Condominiums' 42nd floor penthouse

This Austin Skyline picture features Ladybird Lake below and some of the Austin high rises in the distance.

For more Austin Skyline Images, please visit these sites:

My Facebook Photography Page

or at My Austin Skyline Gallery

or at My Austin, Texas Image website

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to shoot for the Austonian, the tallest residence and tallest building in the Austin Skyline. This building is actually the highest all-residential building west of the Mississippi at 683 feet tall. On the 54th story is a penthouse that spans the entire floor. Windows completely surround the entire floor, giving you a 360 degree view of Austin, Texas, from bird’s eye view.

From one of the two balconies, you can have great unobstructed views looking north down Congress Avenue to the Texas State Capitol, the UT Tower, the iconic Frost Bank, and DKR (the UT football stadium). From the balcony facing south, you enjoy a commanding view of Ladybird Lake, the Congress Bridge and First Street Bridges, Auditorium Shores, and I-35 in the distance as it heads south towards San Antonio. This is a great place to enjoy a sunset or two. If I had a lot of cash sitting around, maybe I’d buy the place.

The building opened in 2010 for residents, and the folks that work there are the nicest people.

Here are two panoramas of the Austin Skyline. Thanks for looking!

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See more at My Facebook Photography Business Page
My Austin Skyline Gallery
My Austin, Texas Website

One of my favorite places in Austin is the walk along the Zilker Park Hike and Bike Trail. You can find great views of the Austin Skyline, great downtown Austin panoramas, and you can watch the scullers flow by on Ladybird Lake in the early morning hours. There are also swans and ducks bobbing in the cool waters. If you like to run or bike, there are miles of trails to enjoy.
If you enjoy photography, one of the locations I like to visit is at Lou Neff Point. This little part of the rocky shoreline grants a view looking down the river towards downtown Austin. In this image of the Austin skyline, I arrived at Lou Neff Point well before sunrise to figure out what I wanted to do. The clouds were seemingly pretty thick, so I was wondering about my chances for good light and colorful clouds. As the sun started to rise, I was rewarded with some soft oranges and pinks over the Austin cityscape. This image was taken in December, so a chill was definitely in the air – cold for even Austin. I’ve also seen folks doing portraits at this location. You have a great backdrop!
But no matter where you are on the Zilker Park Trail, it seems all the views are pretty good. Enjoy, and thanks for looking!

The Austin Skyline from Zilker Park

This image of the Austin skyline was taken from Zilker Park along the hike and bike trail. The morning was cold and crisp and steam was rising from the water.

For more Austin images, visit My Austin Skyline Gallery

or My Other Austin Gallery

I’ve photographed the Austin skyline from many different angles and perspectives… I’ve shot from the ground, from a boat, and from the tops of several high rises including the Austonian, the 360 Condos, the Milago, and the Hyatt. I’ve also photographed in all kinds of weather – even in snow on Pennybacker Bridge!

Last year on a cold morning, I awoke before sunrise and drove downtown to shoot from the Long Center. I arrived well before first light and spent some time exploring. I ended up spending most of my time taking images of Austin near the reflecting pool just west of the Long Center. While there, I noticed a bench that had a wonderful view if you happened to be sitting there. Also, a fog was slowly rolling through the Austin cityscape. I set up and tried to capture my vision – sharing with the viewer the peace of that scene – the Austin skyline with some of the highrises slipping out of the low fog.

I ended up returning here several times. Every morning, and elderly couple came through here – before sunrise – walking their dog. We never spoke, but they smiled, and I smiled, not wanting to disturb their serene time before the rush of life begins.

I also captured some black and white Austin images from this location that I really like. Here, though, is my image of the Austin skyline with a park bench – the best view in Austin!

Austin Cityscape from the best seat in town

This bench has a wonderful view of downtown Austin, Texas, and the Austin skyline. On this morning before sunrise, looking across Lady Bird Lake, a low fog rested among the buildings and architecture of Austin.

For more Austin images, please visit:
My Austin Skyline Gallery

For Texas Wildflowers, please visit:

My Texas Bluebonnet Gallery

or http://www.robgreebonphotography.com

Everyonce in a while, you stumble across something good that was in front of you the entire time. I’ve been photographing Austin and its skyline for a while now, but I’d never visited the Zilker Clubhouse. I knew generally where it was, but for whatever reason, I’d never been there. Well, before sunrise last Saturday, I was on my way downtown to photograph the Hippie Opera and the Taco Express. I was running pretty early (yes, I’m an early bird) so I decided to stop by and take in the view from the balcony.

Upon arrival, I was impressed. The Missouri-Pacific Highway (MoPac to Austonians) runs in front of the view, and the city skyline is just across the highway. I decided to wait on the trip to the Hippie Opera in South Austin, and take in the sunrise from this location. Unfortunately, although the sky was brilliant orange, there were no dramatic clouds. I captured the scene, enjoyed moment, and returned home. The next morning I returned in hopes there would be some clouds. This is the view I was greeted with… a glorious sunrise over the Austin skyline.

This image is a stitch of several photographs. I also blended in the foreground so it would have some definition.

The Austin Skyline from the Zilker Clubhouse

The Austin Skyline from the Zilker Clubhouse

For more of my images, please visit: http://www.robgreebonphotography.com