I took some time to visit three of our nearby county and state parks the other day. One of my stops was at the Hamilton Pool Preserve. Located about 25 miles from Austin, the park is only open from about 8:30AM to 5:30PM so it’s hard to get there at the “magic hour”. I arrived mid-afternoon so the light was not that good and the skies were not that interesting. That said, I made the best of the situation and took advantage of the tiny cloud in the background and the light reflecting off the jade-green pool.
Hamilton Pool was created when the dome of the underground river collapsed due to massive erosion (a long, long time ago). This park is a very popular swimming spot in the summer months. Long lines exist sometimes people wait for hours to get in. The waterfall is very popular with the swimmers as well as many sit underneath the water and cool down during the sweltering heat. A small beach is off to the right. The pool is surrounded by large slabs of limestone that rest by the water’s edge; large stalactites grow from the ceiling high above. The ceiling and surrounding cliffs of the grotto are home to moss, maidenhair fern and cliff swallows. The Ashe juniper (cedar) uplands of the preserve are home to the endangered golden-cheeked warbler. This was my first time to visit the pool. Hard to believe that I waited almost 17 years to visit it…
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5DS using my Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 Lens set on 16 mm. I should have taken a wider lens. The grotto is not that large and a wider angle lens would have captured the entire cave. The camera was set on Aperture priority mode with the aperture set at f/10, shutter speed at 1/200th of a second and the ISO set at 100. I took a total of five bracketed images (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2) and brought them together using PhotoMatix Pro. Final processing was done in Photoshop.
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