I once read an article in a magazine about this location that discussed how important it can be for a wildlife photographer to have a wide diversity of subjects and how South Texas could feed that need. I couldn’t agree more.
I used to live in Texas and while I lived there, I made sure I visited the southern part of the state at least annually. So when the NANPA summit was held in McAllen in 2011, I jumped on the chance to photograph in the region again. Most of the images in the accompanying slide show, are from that trip.
There are two methods to photograph in the area. Visit the local National Wildlife Refuges or book some time with some private landowners with the Valley Land Fund. I suggest you plan your trip such that you have time for both. The wildlife refuges seem more wild and the ranches will usually make for better images. Use them both.
On the way home from the 2011 NANPA summit in McAllen, Texas, I had a huge photo shoot planned. I was going to shoot around some of the ranches down in south Texas, then I was going to move on to Zion NP, and finally on to Bryce Canyon NP.
Well stage one of the plan went fabulously. I had shortened the stage to conserve on budget, but considering the short time I made many amazing images. Stage two at Zion continued to go fairly well, with the weather being different than I had hoped and the spring hand’t progressed as far as I would’ve liked. These are things that all photographers know how to shoot around though, right?
Then it was time for stage three. We left Zion and started driving to Bryce, after stopping for lunch, I started to develop a headache. This progressed to the very intense point that it brought about nausea. Eventually, stopping the car for awhile was necessary. At the time, I thought this was either altitude sickness or car sickness, despite my lack of history with both. Turns out it was some sort of virus. Point is when I reached Bryce, I really didn’t feel well. The result was that I did not feel up to hiking in the very uncomfortable weather conditions. The images I made are nice but were mainly taken from common view points due to my not feeling up to hiking. Thus, I ended up with images that I like, but haven’t stirred much interest in my stock agent and other people I need to impress. This is the gallery above. Below, is a gallery of images from stage one and two when I felt better.
Unique views are important and we need to make sure we feel up to doing what is necessary to achive them.
I would like to thank Ruth Hoyt, guide at the ranch and John Martin, the ranch owner (founder – Valley Land Fund).