Texas is home to big, bold landscapes that are perfect for photographing. Although there are several major cities in Texas, many of the best locations for landscape photography are somewhat remote. Here we’ll showcase some of the best places to photograph the amazing landscape of Texas. The interactive map below shows the location of each spot mentioned on this page.
This page will continue to be a work in progress, so please feel free to leave a comment with your own suggestions of great places to photograph.
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park runs along about 118 miles of the Rio Grande River at the Mexican border. The park features beautiful, deep canyons carved by the river, amazing desert landscape, and a dark sky that is perfect for stargazing and photographing the night sky. Due to its remote location, Big Bend is not seen by many visitors (compared to other national parks). However, for those who are willing to make the trip the park is well worth the effort. Much of the park can be accessed by hiking trails, but there are some roads in the park as well, including the 30-mile-long Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive.
Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River
The Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River protects 196 miles of the Rio Grande, including about 70 miles that are within Big Bend National Park. The remaining portion is downstream of Big Bend. Boating/rafting is the most popular activity. There are several canyons along this stretch of river that are perfect for photographing.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is in western Texas along the New Mexico state line. It features Guadalupe Peak (the highest point in Texas), and El Capitan (a prominent rock formation). On the west side of the park you can find gypsum sand dunes. The only roads within the park lead to visitor’s centers, campgrounds, or the dunes day use area. To see most of the beauty of this park you will need to hike. There are many trails available in varying lengths and levels of difficulty. The Guadalupe Peak Trail will give you some of the best views in the park.
Guadalupe River State Park
Guadalupe River State Park is about 30 miles north of San Antonio. The park includes 4 miles of river frontage. The river is popular for swimming and boating, but the river and surrounding bluffs offer plenty of beauty that is perfect for photography. Several trails are available within the park to get the best views.
Big Thicket National Preserve
Big Thicket National Preserve is in eastern Texas, about 100 miles northeast of Houston. There is a great deal of diversity of plant and animal life here. The area includes forests, bayou, and river. The best ways to explore the preserve are on foot or by boat. There is a short boardwalk loop that provides some nice views, as well as several longer trails. You can see a full list and description of trails here.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Palo Duro Canyon State Park is in the northern panhandle of Texas. The canyon is the second largest canyon in the U.S. at 70 miles long and up to 20 miles wide. It also reaches depths of up to 1,000 feet. Here you will find beautiful views and interesting rock formations and hoodoos. One of the most noteworthy rock formations is Lighthouse Rock, which is shown in the photo below. The visitor’s center is at the canyon rim, and there are about 30 miles of hiking trails for exploring the park and finding some great places to photograph.
Wildflowers in the Hill Country of Central Texas
The Hill Country of central Texas is a great place to photograph colorful wildflowers. The most popular of the Texas wildflowers is the bluebonnet, which peaks in early to mid April. Buchanan Lake and Kingsland, Texas is typically full of bluebonnets in April. Other types of wildflowers bloom in May and June throughout the Hill Country. This site is a good source of information if you are interested in photographing the wildflowers.
Padre Island National Seashore
Padre Island is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico near Corpus Christi. Part of the island is set aside as Padre Island National Seashore. While South Padre Island is a well-developed tourist destination, the national seashore area is primitive and much of it is accessible by 4-wheel-drive vehicles. This area features beautiful beaches, dunes, and tidal flats. There is a lot of wildlife here, including many kinds of birds.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is in central Texas, about 90 miles northwest of Austin. Enchanted Rock is a massive pink granite mound that rises more than 400 feet and covers more than 600 acres. The rock formation and surrounding scenery are perfect for photography. The area includes hiking trails, including a summit trail and loop trail.
Caddo Lake is a lake and bayou that lies partially in Texas and partially in Louisiana. Caddo Lake State Park covers the area west of the lake in Texas. This cypress swamp is a popular area for fishing, but it is equally well-suited to photography.
Pedernales Falls State Park
Pedernales Falls State Park is in central Texas, about 40 miles west of Austin. The park runs along the Pedernales River, which is surrounded by some beautiful scenery. There are several miles of hiking trails for exploring the park.
Hamilton Pool is in central Texas, just a short distance northeast of Pedernales Falls State Park. This natural pool was created from the collapse of the dome of an underground river. It is a popular swimming and recreation location, and photographers love it because it is a unique and beautiful spot.
Houston is the largest city (by population) in Texas, and if you enjoying photographing cityscapes it is a great spot.
Dallas is another Texas city that has a great skyline for photographing.
Austin’s 360 Bridge
The 360 Bridge, formally known as the Pennypacker Bridge, in Austin is a great subject for photos. You can get a great view from above, as shown in the photo below.
Want to learn more about neighboring states? Please see:
- The Best Places to Photograph in Oklahoma
- The Best Places to Photograph in New Mexico
- The Best Places to Photograph in Louisiana
- The Best Places to Photograph in Arkansas
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