July 22, 2019
I talked my brother and his girlfriend into a trip to go hike the Gorman Falls trail in Colorado Bend State Park last weekend (mid-July in the Texas heat). So that I could get some great pictures of adventure elopements in the Austin, Texas area! I’m so excited to start this adventure elopement photography journey and Austin is the PERFECT place to start! I don’t know if it was sheer excitement clouding my thinking or if I thought getting away from Houston humidity would change the fact that Texas is just plain HOT in the summer. I’ve lived in Houston my whole life and should totally know better by now.
They were totally on board heading down there and even during the shoot, I don’t think they actually complained once! Talk about troopers. They were both sweating so bad, haha, I should have brought a sweat rag (add that to the list of tips when doing a summer hiking trip in Texas). The dress wasn’t the right fabric for summer and the pants and long sleeve shirt, that I eventually suggested he roll up, were not helpful. I’m still in awe of them for doing this with/for me!
We packed up and left the house around 1pm. I’m not usually a planner. I didn’t realize it was almost 4 hours away from our house. When I looked at it on the map I thought it was just outside of Austin, so I’m thinking 2.5-3 hours max… I never actually clicked “directions” on map to see how far it was from me. This has happened before, maybe one day I’ll learn. So it was a little later than I wanted but it actually ended up working well that way because of the dang HEAT! It was perfect we went in the evening, we had just the right amount of light for what I wanted to get done + ample swimming/cool-down time! Yay!
Danny’s one condition was to stop at P. Terry’s Burger shop on the way there, so we did. They have amazing oatmeal chocolate chip cookies y’all (yes, I said oatmeal). We got to Colorado Bend at about 5pm, we got all packed up and headed down the Gorman Falls trail! I took some shots along the way. Running along in front and switching to get some shots from behind with the bouquet in the backpack. There’s something about a bouquet in a hiking pack that makes my heart happy! It was hot, but honestly not too bad, there was a nice breeze and good amounts of shady spots. We stopped a few times to rest and take in some of the views. I loved the shots of making our way down the trail. I think this is an amazing park to have your elopement adventure and I can’t wait to go back and explore more epic areas of CBSP and Austin.
We turned a corner and all of the sudden you could hear the water falling! How crazy. We looked to see where the water was coming form at this over look and I went to take a picture and a hawk flew into the frame at perfect timing!! I just love when things like that happen. Just by chance, making the picture even better with her presence! The steps down to the falls from there were pretty steep and the rocks were so smooth it was hard not to slip, was glad for the railing to hold onto! There was another section of beautiful falls with bright green moss growing all on the rocks. They have it roped off to protect the moss but you can see it really well from the ledge.
We dropped our stuff off at the benches they have built around a beautiful large tree and went down to the water to cool off. It’s another treacherous hike down a narrow muddy cliff. But the water at the edge of the falls is SO. COLD. and refreshing!!! The river is a little warmer, which was kind of interesting how quickly it warmed up the farther you got from the falls. Danny and Diane went out across the river and I stayed back with Boe who was very upset (he gets separation anxiety) with how far away they were going and he couldn’t go because he’s too big and muscular to swim! The water was about thigh deep in some parts and had large rocks you could easily stub your foot into since the water isn’t clear. If you lay low and take it slow it’s a fun trip out! The views were amazing! I need to get a waterproof camera sack or something so I can take it along with me to my next adventure elopement in the Austin area!
We got dried off and they started to get dressed in their elopement attire. Very soon started sweating profusely… such a gross feeling. Take a nice cold shower and then start swearing before your hair is even dried off. I know it too well. We went back up to the fenced off portion of the waterfall and took some portraits there before going down to the bottom of the waterfall near the river where it was a little more open and less stuffy feeling, so that was nice! The sun was setting and the sky was so so pretty.
We finished up and changed into swimsuits again and did pushups in the shallow area near the waterfall where the water is the coldest. Then packed our stuff up and hustled back to try and make the most of the remaining daylight since we forgot our head lamps! The moon came out and we sang about moon shadows the last half of the hike.
For now I’m so so happy with how these turned out and I can’t wait to do a real elopement in a different season for an adventurous couple who loves Texas and the Austin area!