Paying to access beauty

Now we all know that as photographers we have to jump through hoops and hurdles to get the right shot. We have to wait numerous cycles for the breeze to unfurl a flag just right or for the child’s eye’s to give that “plugged in and lit up” look.

Sometimes, we have to sign forms stating that we know we’re walking into a dangerous area and that we won’t sue the owner of the facility/property if we get hurt. Well it’s become that time of year in Texas where wildflower shots are readily available.

There are hundreds of free places to get these shots…like IH10 just outside of Seguin on the way to Houston. There are tons of locations around San Antonio too. But the places that I want to hit are the places that are forbidden unless you have the wallet for it.

Take for instance, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. It’s a gorgeous place filled with the beauty of wildflowers year round. They charge you to access the facility if you want to look but if you pack a camera, look out. You can be slapped with an $100/day camera fee.

There is a new canyon at Canyon Lake and it has some awesome views as well. If you want to walk down that trail, you have to hire a guide and you have to also pay a fee. Combined, it can also run you about $100 and that includes LIMITED access to the area.

So please take this warning. If you are going to a favorite location and plan on taking your camera to capture some of the beauty, you better pack your credit card or a lockbox for your camera because cash strapped facilities are looking for new and better ways to generate revenue and our love of nature’s raw beauty and power is going to cost us.

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