Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Southern Charm Photography and Austin

About a month or so ago, my friend Katelyn from Southern Charm Photography traveled to Austin to take some senior pictures for me. It was a fun chance to highlight parts of Austin that I love. It was a VERY sunny day and she did a great job of still capturing all the color and beauty of each destination. I was happy that David got to come along and keep everything comfortable. We even got some really cute pictures together!

Our first stop was Big Top Candy Shop on South Congress. They have ahhh-mazing Italian Ice Sodas, nostalgic candy, and a chocolate case to die for. My first foray into this delightful store was on a First Thursday for a handmade Dr Pepper and I've been hooked ever since!

I have no idea why I chose a green drink this time.... it tasted awesome, so I definitely recommend green apple, but yeah. Maybe a purple one would have matched better? Or pink?

Get it?? Because I'm a sweet-tart and he's a bazooka?? I really wanted to find a big box of Hot Tamales for him, but alas we had no such luck.

Our next stop was Hey, Cupcake! which was, unfortunately, closed. And here you can see the sun's glaring rays reflecting on that airstream trailer goodness :)

Our next stop was one of my favorite spots in Austin! It's on the edge of Zilker Park where a little pavilion looks over Town Lake and has a perfect view of downtown. It's actually one of the places David and I went on our first unofficial date. It's just as gorgeous at night!

It was really cool, too, because beautifully decorated (but poorly tuned) pianos have been placed all over Austin by the Austin Art Alliance- so David serenaded us with a pretty tune.

I think this one is my favorite. It's before my hair got too terribly wild. This photo was taken on a walking trail beside the lake lookout. I once got lost on the trail with a friend and accidentally walked nearly 5 miles when I intended to walk 2 miles.

Then we went to Mt Bonnell, another place we visited on our first unofficial date. I know it's cheesy and cliche as far as romantic places in Austin... but I honestly do have some great memories from this place- romantic and not, with David and with other friends. It has a lovely view of the city of Austin as well as over the water.

Katelyn was unaware that there'd be quite a climb to the top. I probably should have mentioned that before we got there. Oh, well! She was quite the trooper. Oh, and it was incredibly windy at the top of the mountain. Maybe you can't tell but my hair was W-I-L-D.

This is the picturesque staircase to the top. I remember taking Lindsey up here while she was still in high school. A raccoon was being pretty noisy in the brush and she got sooo scared!

Next we hit up the center of UT's campus- our eternal phallic symbol- the Tower. There's a lot of history in this tower. Terrible events occurred her in 1966. But every year, the Gone to Texas program welcomes new students here. The Torch Light Rally and the Hex Rally are held here to cheer on the Longhorn football team. Free concerts are put on- I saw Gavin Degraw here! And finally, graduation. The tower symbolizes achievement, success and pride in our alma mater. It lights up completely orange for national championship victories.

And last, but certainly not least, we visited this mural on South First and Annie. Of course it's a staple in Austin portrait sessions. But I LOVE this mural. It features some of the most prominent and beautiful parts of Austin in the painting. It displays Austin's friendly, quirky and overall weird feel.

Murals were one of the big reasons that I fell in love with Austin. From the first days I spent at UT during Honors Colloquium of my junior year in high school, I felt God pressing me here. I felt like I belonged... and it felt so different from high school. I loved the educational/intellectual/creative sense of the school. But walking down the drag with my mother during orientation I noticed colorfully tiled sections of sidewalk, guerilla advertising campaigns emphasized with sidewalk chalk, marbles creating designs as I walked along.

Sidewalks are mundane. Not in Austin. Austin is anything but mundane. Alleyways are scary and ugly. Not in Austin. Alleyways are covered in paintings, artistically rendered to be funny, politically relevant, beautiful.

I love Austin.
I love the colorful sidewalks, the incessant art wherever you look, the farmer's markets, the live music, the FOOD, the thriving cultural communities, the strong support of local and small businesses, the beautiful skyline, the 24 hour availability of queso. I love that those who follow Christ here truly follow Christ in word and deed- giving to the communities and going where the gospel has never been heard. I love that following Christ here means loving people and meeting their needs just as Christ did in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

I will be in Austin for another year or so working at Oak Meadow Baptist Church and I honestly hope to return after I obtain my Masters degree. This beautiful city has a hold on me.

Thank you Katelyn for capturing it all so beautifully!

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