This amazing blog is written and photographed by Grey Scott of @Gra8dations on Instagram and https://gradations.zenfolio.com/.
The more time I spend in the City of Baytown, the more I realize that it is truly a hidden gem. As a nature and wildlife photographer, there is boundless beauty within and around the city limits. I began writing this with the intention of listing the “top” places in Baytown to shoot. No sooner than I began to write, it became immediately apparent that this was an impossible task. Tucked inside and around industry here is nature’s allure. There are literally too many “top” places to name. Instead, let me share just a tiny fraction of my preferred locations to shoot.
1. Bayland Marina
As I cross the Baytown Bridge each morning, the first thing I see is the marina on the right. As far as marinas go, there is nothing spectacular about it – I mean it is just a small, ordinary marina with some cats hanging around to keep away the mice, right? Wrong! The view of the bridge is always spectacular – whether the sun is setting or rising. And the sky behind the marina never disappoints at these times of the day. I typically see a handful of photogs each morning and each evening I’m there because they have also discovered this great location for a scenic shot.
2. Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Center
The Wetlands Center is a great place to learn about and sample the nature and wildlife specific to Baytown. There are snakes, fish, and other wetlands animals within the center. There is a boat dock just behind the center, and Goose Creek runs behind and across from the center. Not only are these easily-accessible spots for nature photography but this area also showcases some of Baytown’s best. You cannot go wrong whether inside or outside of the Wetlands Center.
3. Baytown Nature Center
Even though it is impossible for me to name the “top” places in Baytown to shoot, the one certain and easy thing to decide is my personal number one place: the BNC. Hands down, some of my most awe-inspiring nature shots were taken right here. Whether you are shooting butterflies, birds, flowers, sunsets behind the San Jacinto Monument, or simply cloud formations in the sky . . . you cannot go wrong here. The BNC is very peaceful, and it always brings me a sense of calm. That is one of the reasons I go almost every day at least once. There are many opportunities to learn about our ecology, take nature photography courses, go on a full-moon hike, and even learn more about yourself at the BNC. And while I am not specifically a birder, I can certainly see why they refer to the BNC as a “birdwatcher’s paradise” [Check out Grey's "The Bird" blog here!].
And there you have it: three of my favorite places to shoot nature photography in Baytown. Baytown’s beauty still never ceases to amaze me. Before I wrap up this list (and head back out to shoot), it would be very remiss of me to not leave you with these additional three items:
There are MANY other spots to view and record nature in Baytown that I did not mention here. There is Goose Creek Park, the Park Street bridge, and of course N.C. Foote Park, just to name a few. Find your favorite(s).
Always respect nature. Remember to never harass any wildlife and to leave it the same or better than you found it. As nature photogs, our role is to preserve the beauty we see and educate others through our work as to why this matters.
Have fun. Don’t worry about technically correct photographs or expensive equipment. Naturalist John Muir said it perfectly when he professed, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”
See you out there!