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Eric Sepia

San Antonio

Posted on 2010.08.25 at 16:40
Current Location: 75070
Tags: , ,


Grade school in Texas is filled with stories of Texas Independence and "Texas History" is a required course in junior high. Most everything you've ever heard about us Texans is true, and its instilled at a very early age. The first time I saw the greatest landmark of our history however, was Basic Training Graduation back in 1990. Every single USAF enlisted member goes through Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas - home of the Alamo. (And you're going to need to click that image - its magnificent when its...larger). My folks came down for Graduation bringing with them my buddy who retired this past weekend - he was three months behind me in getting a slot for Basic - and this is the first time I'd been back. Fitting, really.

This has all happened before and it will all happen again.

Wanting to escape the nearly month-long oppression of 100+ degree days of Dallas, but scared stiff of the humidity which comes in the Southern part of Texas I begged my friend to lie to me and tell me it was cooler. He did such a good job that I believed him! Sadly, it wasn't to be. I was dismayed by how "wet" the heat was while I was there. Still and all, the Alamo ought to be photographed in full Texas sun, and in that regard, I wasn't disappointed! Illuminated as it should be.

Remember the Alamo!

Later that night, I volunteered to "take the hit for the team" and designate myself as driver during the pub crawl, which afforded me the opportunity to photograph the famous Paseo del Río or San Antonio River Walk...at night. We arrived on the scene - seven of us - around 2130 and while my brood "closed down" the bars on the strip, I hovered around with my tripod taking night shots. In this picture, you'll see a series of tri-level sub-subterranean interconnected edifices rising into the streets much like Wookie Village. This picture was taken six minutes past midnight with a 15-second exposure at f/3.2 (you'll need to click the thumbnail to see the entire thing):

I miss H.E.B. Its a South Texas supermarket. With an impressive selection of beer and the BEST TORTILLAS I'VE EVER HAD, ANYWHERE (not to mention they sell Texas Olive Ranch Mesquite-Smoked Olive Oil) I made as many trips there as I could. What a great culture. What great people. With so much to see and do in this fine town, boredom never came. Its vast tourist-friendly-yet-small-town-feel was very welcoming and set me right at ease no matter where I went.

Amarillo by morning, up from San Antone...

San Antonio is larger than Dallas, but not as formidable as the entire DFW Metroplex. It is indeed a massive city. The humidity aside, I sure enjoyed the sheer number of taquerias in the area - something the more Southern parts of Texas excel at. Its been many years since I've lived in South/West Texas, and while I'm comfortable in maintaining my North Texas suburban lifestyle, I can't wait for my next trip to San Antone!


mr_dowg at 2010-08-25 21:49 (UTC) (Link)
I have been to San Antonio once when I was in high school but I have never been to the Alamo or any of the other wonderful historic parts of the city. My parents were not into that sort of thing so I missed out on that. I need to plan a trip there with the family at some point!
ehowton at 2010-08-25 23:46 (UTC) (Link)
What a wonderful idea! And Sea World isn't just a big aquarium anymore either, its a full-on theme park! What fun.
thesweetestnote at 2010-08-25 22:07 (UTC) (Link)
I am almost certain I'll be moving out there very soon.
ehowton at 2010-08-25 23:54 (UTC) (Link)
I've never been to El Paso so I've go no comparison. Is the Mexican food better, or worse in El Paso to San Antonio? Because that's all it really boils down to for me :P
thesweetestnote at 2010-08-27 17:45 (UTC) (Link)
El Paso sucks but it's home. I suppose it's a nice place to die I mean retire... but I have no intention of doing so here LOL As far as the local cuisine... I think both cities are great. We have Chico's Tacos, a staple of the El Pasoan diet. I usually choose between there or Whataburger. But El Paso definitely has a plethora of awesom eateries. If in town I would recommend the L&J Cafe. Also, Kiki's Restaurant is a favorite of Aerosmith's and go there when they're in town. If you're ever in the area come on an empty stomach and I will be your guide to fill it! :) There's also some great places to eat over in Old Mesilla, New Mexico. Billy the Kid hid out in this one establishment that now has some of the best food around.

Like any city though there are some really shitty food joints here too. There is a rich history in this part of the country but over all: I gotta get outta here!!!
michelle1963 at 2010-08-26 01:19 (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful pics all, Eric. But I must admit the night shot is my favorite.
ehowton at 2010-08-26 01:46 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! Those were more difficult to accomplish than I thought they'd be when I set out to capture them.
quicksilvermad at 2010-08-26 03:52 (UTC) (Link)
Ah, San Antonio... I can't even remember how many times I've been to the Riverwalk, seen the Alamo, and gone antique shopping. I do remember going to Sea World as a kid—I still have neon-colored plastic tumblers from the gift shop.

I think, because I grew up near large bodies of water almost my entire life (Pacific, Mediterranean, Atlantic, various lakes and rivers), I have a bit of an obsession with sea life. One of my earliest memories is of petting stingrays at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I begged to go to Sea World every time we drove to San Antonio or Salado to visit my grandparents.

There's just something about Texas... Every time I visit, the sky seems like it's bluer than it is in Virginia—the air smells the same way it did when I was little. Like heat, dirt, pecan trees, cattle, and horses. Despite the ungodly humidity, I'd move there. Texas is full of great memories.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2010-08-26 05:07 (UTC) (Link)
Don't forget the smell of skunk on the highway, that always makes me nostalgic!!!
ehowton at 2010-08-26 13:28 (UTC) (Link)
Like you, I've lived so many different places - beautiful places even, but it always feels like home here :D
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2010-08-26 04:43 (UTC) (Link)
"I miss H.E.B. Its a South Texas supermarket." I've got great news for you. They are currently breaking ground in Granbury for H.E.B. That South Texas supermarket is coming to this North Texas redneck prairie town.
ehowton at 2010-08-26 13:26 (UTC) (Link)
That's magnificent news!!! Is there anything you don't know???
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2010-08-26 22:00 (UTC) (Link)
If I only could remember half of what I've forgotten I would still only know half as much as you.
sacredyuja at 2010-08-26 13:18 (UTC) (Link)
I really like San Antonio!
Ate me some county line bbq too!
The sausages were gooood!
I almost did the silly touristy river boat thing but didn't when I saw one of the boats get stuck...LOL
ehowton at 2010-08-26 13:30 (UTC) (Link)
My buddy smoked two briskets while we were there. FANTASTIC! Now I'm not saying I'll choose BBQ over Mexican food, but if I'm not eating Mexican...I'm eating smoked brisket 10 times outta 10!

I was shocked at how diverse the River Walk was. People from all walks of live intermingling there. It was really a site to behold. But yeah, I draw the line too at the boat thing :P
irulan_amy at 2010-08-27 04:04 (UTC) (Link)
The night shot is gorgeous!!

I drove right through Texas when I moved here. I don't know why I didn't detour to stop and see things. Maybe because of snow? I want to see the Alamo... one day.
ehowton at 2010-08-27 17:05 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! Have camera, will travel...I've been having LOTS of fun here lately :P

So yeah, knowing your origin & destination, San Antonio would've been far, far out of your way :P Maybe next time!
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2010-08-28 01:50 (UTC) (Link)
I recommend seeing it in the late Fall, Winter or Spring because otherwise it is just drenchingly humidly extremely HOT in San Antonio. Spring is my favorite time.
ehowton at 2010-08-31 16:58 (UTC) (Link)
I'll vote for fall. Cool and sunny...
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