Waterfalls in Colorado Bend State Park

Saturday I took part in a landscape photography workshop at Colorado Bend State Park in Central Texas. I have been to this park several times as there are lots of nice hiking trails. There are also some waterfalls in the park, and this was the subject of the workshop. There is larger waterfall, called Gorman falls, on one end of the park, but we went up the Spicewood springs trail on this expedition.

At the lower water falls, where the spring meets the river, there were several people playing in the water, so we moved up a bit from there and came to a quieter area. With my first efforts, I put a 10-stop ND filter on my lens and took some 30 second exposures to really blur out the moving water.

Colorado Bend Texas waterfall
30 second exposure of waterfall

While I did like the effect of the long exposure, each shot took a minute with noise reduction enabled. I took a few other pictures of this waterfall without the ND filter and still managed to get a decent blur of the water. With f/22 and ISO100, I was able to get 1 second exposures in the available light which still resulted in a nice blur of the rushing water. Here is another shot from the side and just above.

Colorado Bend Texas waterfall

And a close-up, of water rushing over the rocks. I wanted the close-up to isolate the subject and show the natural curves of the water and rocks.

Colorado Bend Texas waterfall
Close-up of waterfall

Climbing up the trail I noticed a thorny bush or cactus and I thought it would look good with a waterfall in the background. Working a foreground subject into my landscape composition has been a challenge for me so I thought this would be a nice opportunity for a picture. Being as close the thorns as I was there wasn’t much chance of getting the foreground and the background in focus. One option, would have been to take multiple shots at different focus points and merging them in Photoshop, but I decided that I liked the background blurred a bit.

Colorado Bend Texas waterfall

Here I tried to get a multi-streamed waterfall reflected in the pond. The subject is centered in an attempt show some symmetry.

Colorado Bend Texas waterfall
Waterfall reflected in pond

Below is a close-up of a small part of the stream cascading into the pond. Taken at f/22, ISO100, and 2.5 seconds.

Colorado Bend Texas waterfall

On hike back down, we were taking a break and I saw this yellow flower hanging out over a waterfall so I tried multiple angles to get it and the waterfall together. The good news is that, even though I was crawling around precariously on slippery rocks with a tripod and backpack, I did not fall on my butt.


As I mentioned earlier, there is another waterfall at Colorado Bend State Park, called Gorman falls. I have some pictures of this waterfall from previous visits. Gorman falls is quite shrouded in trees and difficult to get in a single picture. The following picture is from the bottom of the falls, the top is hidden behind tree branches.

Gorman Falls at Colorado Bend State Park

Walking around to the side of the falls there are some creepy looking mossy rocks behind the water.


Well, these were some of my attempts at improving my landscape photography. It was an interesting class and a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon. The park is a bit remote, quiet, and there is no phone service there. A nice place for some solitude.

5 thoughts on “Waterfalls in Colorado Bend State Park

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.