Friday, May 13, 2011

Places: Williams Tower Water Wall

The Williams Tower Water Wall, also known simply as the Water Wall, is frequently considered Houston’s most photographed location. Located by the Galleria shopping center, near Richmond and West Loop 610, it is an imposing sight with a 64 feet tall semi-circular wall of flowing water, surrounded by hundreds of live oaks which isolate it from the passing traffic and offer a glimpse from the street.

The Water Wall used to be private property and was previously owned by the Transco Tower. However, despite what you may hear or read on the Internet, the City of Houston purchased the fountain and surrounding land (for $8.5 million) in December 2008, and converted it into a public park. Therefore, as with any other public space, non-commercial photography is allowed.

Be careful when visiting the Water Wall. Parking is not allowed on the streets surrounding the park, and your car will most probably be towed. What starts off as a pleasant outing could become a very expensive and troublesome endeavor. Your best bet is to park inside the Galleria’s free parking garage, and walk from there. As this parking space is intended for visitors to the shopping center, try to be courteous by parking away from the mall entrance, and by visiting if possible on weekdays, when there is plenty of space.

You can normally find quite a few people visiting the park at any time of the year. There are also always at least a few photographers with brides, quinceaƱeras or couples, or simply capturing the beauty of the view. Be sure to try different spots around the fountain, as both the outside and inside offer interesting and worthwhile views.

Where: 2800 Post Oak Blvd, Houston, TX 77056
When: It is best photographed during the early morning or evening hours when the light isn't so harsh, and the trees create interesting shadow patterns.
Price: free
More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_D._Hines_Waterwall_Park

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