September 27, 2016

On The Road: San Antonio River Walk

San Antonio When visiting San Antonio, strolling the River Walk is a must!  It's approximately 1.5 miles long and runs along the San Antonio River with oodles of quaint cafes and retail shops just feet away.  I snapped this pic with my iPhone my first evening in town.

San AntonioCan you say 'charming'?!  Arched pedestrian bridges connect the two banks and various tourist attractions.  It's quite enjoyable -- and very active in the evenings with hundreds of people strolling, the sound of live music wafting from cantinas, and diners enjoying a drink or meal at a cafe while watching the boats putter by.  We took a relaxing riverboat tour under the stars with the guide telling us about the history of San Antonio -- fun!  I had visited San Antonio 15 years ago when I was a TV reporter and was dispatched to Texas to cover a federal trial -- and the only thing I had a chance to see outside the courtroom was the River Walk briefly one night after a 11 hour work day.  I hoped it was going to be as nice as I remembered and it was. Definitely worth checking out!

September 26, 2016

On The Road - San Antonio: The Saga

San Antonio:  The Saga
The SDP staff has returned from its Wild, Wild West tour of four national parks, plus a brief stop in San Antonio, Texas!  For the most part, SDP posts have always been limited to Florida; however, with such picturesque adventures to share, the Editor in Chief has waived that rule (to the immense delight of the entire staff.)  So, anticipate a steady diet of "On The Road" photos for awhile!  

While visiting San Antonio earlier this month for a conference, the hotel concierge recommended I check out something called "San Antonio: The Saga".  It's an art installation of sorts that you have to see and experience in person, but here's a brief explanation:  The history of San Antonio is told through a colorful video light show that is displayed on the facade of San Fernando Cathedral, one of the oldest cathedrals in the U.S.  The show starts at the beginning of time, goes through the Alamo, and concludes with San Antonio today -- a bustling, diverse and prosperous city.  (This photo was taken with my iPhone, believe it or not.)  The idea originated two years ago as a way to attract visitors to the area -- and it has worked!  The exhibit is free and lots of people attend the showings.  Designed by artist Xavier de Richmond, it's very creative -- one of the most amazing video displays I've seen.  Only music is used -- no narration -- for the entire 20 minute program.  As I mentioned, you really need to see it in person, but here's a video I found on YouTube.   Hope everyone has been doing well in the Blogosphere!  I look forward to catching up with you soon.

August 16, 2016

Myakka Charm

SDP 8-16-16
As many times as I've visited Myakka River State Park, I've never been canoeing here. Probably because:  a) I'm not an overly proficient canoeist;  b) there are gators in that water (which leads back to point a.)   With my northern upbringing, I still think the most dangerous thing that should be living in a river is a pike.  So, knowing these are gator infested waters, I continue to have a healthy respect for Mother Nature. (I've canoed at Oscar Scherrer State Park, which also is located in Sarasota. But, that area doesn't attract the gators like Myakka. Myakka, literally, is a breeding ground for alligators.) That being said, as you can see by the number of canoes, lots of people are interested in paddling around the river here. (The people who really concern me are the fishermen who wade waist deep into the water. What are they thinking?!)  By the way, there's a small 3-foot gator just off shore and out of sight in this photo -- the same one that was featured yesterday.   And, I bet you'll find one at the end of that rainbow! 

August 15, 2016

Colorful Gator

SDP 8-15-16b
After running errands yesterday afternoon, I decided to stop by Myakka River State Park and see how it's fairing with all the rain we've been receiving (roads are dry....trails are flooded, I'm told).  As you probably know, gators are a common sight here. But, a gator with a rainbow under blue skies?  Very unusual!  (If you look closely to the upper left, a second rainbow can faintly be seen trying to appear.)

SDP 8-15-16
The saying goes that there's a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  So, what does it mean when a rainbow cuts across a gator's head?  (He didn't seem to mind.)  Maybe...good luck for the photographer?! 

August 14, 2016

#1 Beach

SDP 8-14-16 We're still testing the latest asset acquisition at SDP -- a 10-24mm lens.  And, those tests took us to Siesta Key Beach (at sunset, of course).  In addition to the sugary white sand, one of the most remarkable aspects of this beach is its sheer width.   Previously, I've been stymied trying to depict it.  But, not with the new lens!  This was the scene last night looking all the way across the beach toward the Gulf of Mexico.  Five years ago, Siesta Beach was named the #1 beach in the United States by Dr. Beach, and since then it has become increasingly popular with visitors from around the world.  I can confirm it is indeed a beautiful beach!  Hope everyone is well in the blogosphere.

August 6, 2016

Goin' Wide

SDP 8-6-16

After a few minor skirmishes between the SDP editorial staff and procurement division, I'm pleased to report the Editor-in-Chief prevailed and a Tamron 10-24mm lens recently was acquired and is now part of the SDP portfolio!  This was taken last night at 10mm....and there doesn't appear to be any "fisheye" bend.  Nice!  I definitely will be able to capture some beautiful sweeping landscapes with this lens.  The entire SDP staff is heading out west soon and will be touring several national parks (Arches, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone), the lens acquisition occurred just in time! Really looking forward to testing it. 

July 30, 2016

One More

SDP 7-30-16

Sometimes you have to stop for one more picture.  Taken last night as I left Myakka River State Park.  Hope everyone in the blogosphere has been doing well!