Another day in Austin, Texas


A day in the life

I started this blog on the suggestion and encouragement of the talented team at Fosforus.  In terms of ROI, it has been a homerun.  Off the charts.  The only investment has been time posting entries, and I’ve had actual cash return.  So big thanks to WordPress and to Fosforus.  That said, I think I’ll join the rest of you bloggers out there who use these things to tell people about your day (no, I’m not making fun of you…I repeat, I join you).  Today started out with trip to the dump.  1-800-Got-Junk is not effectively marketing themselves if they’re not using an image like this with a caption that reads something like, “You’ll Never Get The Smell Out of Your Nostril Hairs.”  You think Hell has fire and stuff?  Mine has six inches of foul-smelling slippery grey mud.


Then, I drove back downtown.  Probably shouldn’t be snapping photos on a 70-foot flyover at 55mph.


I saw a bad wreck at the intersection of MLK and the I-35 access road.  I hope everyone was okay, and by the look of that Prius, I bet they are.  Astounding structural resilience.


I drove past the Capitol and thought about all the people I know who’ve worked there.


Then I saw this in a parking lot in Sunset Valley.


Then I drove back downtown and noticed how far along the W Hotel is coming.


When I got up to Congress, I saw a small herd of those Segue tour people.


And one of them wiped out.  I couldn’t help laughing.  Sorry.


Then I went south on Congress to shoot some of those traliers that sell food, but got there to find that they’re not open on Mondays.  Shit.


So I went home.


Oh, and today is my birthday.

Deeper inside

crclubhouse2 Here’s the main dining room in the clubhouse, which looks out across the first fairway and 40 miles of Hill Country up toward Sisterdale and Luckenbach.  They were beginning to move in the furniture while I was there.  You Cordillera Ranch members sure are going to have a nice place to eat/drink/settle bets/whatever.  Not sure, but I think Mike Marsh is responsible for this incredible building.



Here’s a peek inside the clubhouse at Cordillera Ranch.  More to come..

A new day at Cordillera Ranch

cordillera_ranch_2009The clubhouse is almost ready to open its doors.  I’ve always loved everything about this place, but I had no idea how nice the clubhouse would be, and how well it wraps up the whole property.  I shot this one last Tuesday morning around 7:30 from the road coming in.

Truth and deception


I like the truth, mostly.  Especially in a photograph.  But there are times when the truth gets in the way of the sale, without being deceptive.  Mike Nolen at Falconhead Golf Club asked me to come out and shoot the newly landscaped 17th hole, which you see here.  The best shot seemed to be from up on the hill left of the tee, but from up there, you get a good view of Lake Travis High School back there behind the trees.  You don’t see it from the tee.  But you also don’t see the surface of the green from the tee, which makes it a visually intimidating shot.

The point here is that while the top photo isn’t completely truthful, it shows the landscape better because the viewer isn’t distracted by something else.  I wonder which one you like better.  I know which one I do.

The 17th hole at Falconhead



Bentgrass in Texas

sky_creek_ranch_2009I told you about Stephen Best and his crew at Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club in Keller.  Here’s a shot of the plush spread of bentgrass, just yesterday.  In July.  In Texas.  Remarkable.


sky_creek_ranchHeaded back to Sky Creek Ranch just north of Fort Worth to shoot some new golf landscapes and their new restaurant.  Can’t wait to play the golf course.  Exceptional design and condition.  You old Barton Creekers will remember Sky Creek’s golf course superintendent, Stephen Best.  If I owned a golf course, he’d be on the short list of guys I’d pick to grow grass.  Stay tuned for some shots of Stephen’s handiwork.


malverde1231Loyal CW blog readers will remember the prototype of D-Crain‘s “planted wall” I shot for them at their offices back a few months ago.  Well, it’s now up, in place and thriving upstairs from La Condesa on the patio at Malverde (website not up yet) in what Eric Sutherland from Fosforus calls Fancytown, just across the street from the new W.  (Try the Malverde Margarita…especially if you’re into Mai-Tai’s and drinks like that.)

Love and separation

gentlemans-courtI love the people responsible for the design and construction of this “gentleman’s court” at a private residence here in Austin.  Love them.  They are kind, talented, fun, creative, inspiring and do incredible things with metals, stones and all things green.  This little piece of work here is just one example of what separates them from the pack.

New food

salsaA friend of mine likes to say, “There’s nothing special about _____, but there’s something REALLY special about NEW _____.  It’s the same with food.  I’ve recently been introduced to new food, and while it’s not new, it’s new to me and it’s mighty special.  El Macho Chupacabra is bringing authentic Mexican grub to Austin.  Not sure where yet, and there’s lots to do between me and a bunch of that there, but The Marketing Butcher and I just got back from shooting some of their dishes and stuff down in Helotes at the home of Jim  Peyton and his beautiful, supertalented wife Andrea.  See that hammered bowl of orange stuff there?  You claim you don’t like onions?  Bullshit.  Try one of those, then lie to me.  That roasted tomatillo salsa there in the middle is incredible.  The verde up there on the upper end of the big molcajete puts the crap you get at Guero’s to shame. Don’t get me started on the escapeche.  Google any of those words if you’re curious.  You know you are.

So what if I’ve never made par on it…

Cordillera RanchTough hole to play, but I love the way the par-3 13th at Cordillera Ranch photographs.  I even put a shot of it from 2006 on my business card.  I hate business cards.

Progress and separation

cordillera-ranch-2009Just got back from a day trip to the incomparable Cordillera Ranch.  Shot a few, played the course and shot some more.  The clubhouse is coming along and should be finished out by the end of the year.  The course looked incredible, and the greens were even better.  I don’t claim to know stimp readings, but I’d guess theirs were running about 12+.  I played poorly, so I won’t tell you what I shot, but I played the day before the first round of the Valero Texas Open, and three PGA Tour players were there playing right behind us:  Jim Gallagher, Jr., Jimmy Walker and Mike Heinen.  The wind was blowing a steady 15mph and gusting to 30.  The course was playing hard and fast, and I mentioned those greens.  Heinen shot 65 and broke the course record by three.  I want to think he’s lying, but I doubt it.  I just can’t believe someone is that good.  Or that there’s that much separation between me and the average Tour player.  Scratch that.  Heinen hasn’t been on anyone’s radar in over a decade, so he might not even be considered average, but anyone who even came close to breaking par at Cordillera Ranch last Wednesday is far better than average.

The Club at Concan


Been working on some images for the next edition of the Texas Tour & Meeting Guide.  This one’s on the short list.  The 9th hole at The Club at Concan.