While long overdue, I remembered these photos I took at Hamilton Park on a beautiful day in Austin, just after Thanksgiving. My optimistic friend Brad had called wanting to check out the terrain. Excited for a good experience, I hopped in the car to make the trip. I had been here once before, though not quite the same experience. The water on this day was gorgeous, sparkling all colors of emerald green. I even pulled out my Big Lee Stop Filter to smooth out the waterfall, though not long after, I bounced off a rock only to see that expensive glass hit the ground and crack. Hey, at least I got my photo! A few things I learned out there:


1. Bring water to drink. You’re probably going to get cotton-mouthed if you chase after anyone who walks/climbs faster than you [Brad!]

2. Look around you, up, down, left, right. There are so many cool things out there. You might miss something.

3. Prepare yourself for the crowds of foreigners that turn their “I was here” sentimental shot into a mini photoshoot where they are sitting, lying, and posing on rocks to get the perfect angle. Don’t worry, it comes in rushes and then clears out. Truthfully, I wanted to do the same when I was in foreign places. Wish I would have, and next time I will.

4. Wear shoes with grip. The rocks can get slippery.

5. Take time to make these kinds of trips with your good friends. It matters so much later.


1. Rush.

2. Forget mosquito spray.

3. Think you’re not going to sweat.

4. Forget to take in the moment. It’s beautiful what nature is capable of.

5. Forget to take your own “I was here” shot. Don’t be shy. It’s worth it. Go ahead, lie down. Go all out.