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La Valencia Starwood

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Located in Frisco, TX (which is on the North side of Dallas), La Valencia at Starwood is one of the premier apartment complexes in the region.  This complex is among the first in North Texas to be a certified ENERGY STAR community.  La Valencia also was the recipient of two Green Building Project of the Year Awards.


In addition to being an energy efficient community, La Valencia is breathtakingly beautiful.  The pool area is a sight to behold, with its spacious design and fountain area.  There is also an ample amount of seating for those wishing to work on their tans.  The outdoor fire pit is perfect for those crisp autumn nights, allowing for a comfortable outdoor social gathering.


Outside of the pool area, there are plenty of gathering sites, such as this four section gazebo area.  In addition to the outdoor seating, there is plenty of green space around to enjoy, whether it be for yourself, your kids, or your four legged friends.


As you can see from our photos, the apartments match the high quality of the community amenities.  In addition to spacious floor plans, the kitchen area must be seen to be believed.  The counter space alone is impressive, with the ability to comfortably seat four on just one side.  If you plan on hosting parties, you’d be hard pressed to find a better space.


Do you have a property you would like us to photograph?  Contact us today to get the process going.

Frost Bank Tower

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The Frost Bank Tower is one of the most recognizable buildings in Austin, and has been for well over a decade.  Standing an impressive 515 feet tall with thirty-three floors, the Frost Bank Tower is the third tallest building in Austin behind only the 360 Condominiums and The Austonian.  The Tower broke ground on November 17, 2001, and was developed by Cousins Property.  After two years of construction the building was open for business on January 23, 2004.

The base of the building is a honed finish limestone, with the bulk of the building being coated in a blue glass.  The type of glass is used on only one other building in the USA, and that’s the Reuters Building in NYC.  This feature, along with the unique crown like top, makes this building stand out from the rest in the Austin Skyline.

The Frost Bank Tower has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Best New Building and Best Architecture by Austin Chronicle readers, the 2005 International Association of Lighting Designers Award of Merit, as well as the 2003 Texas Construction Magazine Award of Merit.

The Frost Bank Tower is the Austin Headquarters of Frost National Bank, and also contains the offices of Morgan Stanley, Ernst & Young, and the University of Texas Management Company, which manages the Permanent University Fund.  In addition to offices there is an abundance of retail along the ground floors, ranging from the standard fare of restaurants and coffee shops to an in house dry cleaner.

To see how the Frost Tower stands out among the Austin Skyline, check out our collection of Downtown Austin Stock images here


UT Stadium

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The University of Texas Longhorns are among the most popular college football teams in the nation, and their home is the Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium.  With a seating capacity of over 100,000, it is one of only eight football stadiums in the USA that can claim a six figure seating capacity (currently ranked eighth).  The largest recorded attendance was on October 6, 2012 in a game against the West Virginia Mountaineers, with 101,851 people cheering the Longhorns on.

The stadium was originally opened in 1924 and has undergone a numerous amount of upgrades over the years.  From expanding seating capacity to transitioning from grass to FieldTurf (a more advanced version of Artificial Turf that feels more like real grass) to installing the world’s largest high-definition video screen (which was quickly overtaken by a stadium in Japan), the stadium has undergone a significant transformation over the past 90 years.

The stadium is right in the heart of the university, and is within a short walk of other famous Texas landmarks, such as the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, the UT Tower, and the Texas Performing Arts Center.  For those who are up for a short walk, the state capitol is only a mile away, perfect for those warm Spring and Fall afternoons in Austin.
To see more shots of the Stadium, the full gallery is here.

Site Profile: Harrisburg Plaza

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Located right in the middle of the Houston east end shopping district, Harrisburg Plaza is a destination for shoppers in the region.  With anchor stores Melores and Fallas Paredes, the affiliate stores have a strong draw to the center.  The center is adjacent to a Go MetroRail stop, giving easy access to the shops.  Managed by Weingarten Realty, Harrisburg Plaza has over ninth-six thousand square feet for retail.


We photographed this property in late fall, and since it’s a North facing complex we had to be on site at dawn (see our previous blog about photographing North facing buildings for more details).  We were fortunate as we had a spectacular sky to work with. There were just enough clouds in the sky to give us some texture without being overbearing.


Our twilight shots turned out amazing thanks to a crystal blue sky.  Being so close to the coastline, the land is very flat so the sky starts to illuminate early and stay that way for quite a while.  This allowed us to photograph the entire site with this magnificent sky.


Would you like to see more of this gallery?  Check it out here.  Want us to photograph your site?  Contact us today to get the process going.


Downtown Austin Construction

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The downtown Austin area is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, which coincides with massive population growth the city has enjoyed in recent years.  No matter where you are in the city, it is easy to tell that there is a massive amount of construction going, as there are dozens of large crane dotting the skyline landscape.


According to the Downtown Austin Alliance, there are currently forty-six projects that are either under construction or in the final planning stages, with twenty-six of them already breaking ground. All told there are millions of square feet of new office and retail space, as well as thousands of new hotel rooms and residential living space.


In addition to the commercial space, there are other exciting projects such as the Dell Medical School and Teaching Hospital, which will be a part of the Medical School at UT Austin.  A new Central Library is also being built, which will have nearly two hundred thousand square feet.  New buildings aren’t the only thing going on downtown, as Town Lake Park is undergoing a massive transformation to expand and improve the park.

To see just how much construction there is going on downtown, take a look at our gallery of downtown Austin here.  Or to see the skyline littered with cranes, our skyline gallery can be found here.

North Texas Windfarm

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When you say Texas, most people picture vast fields of oil derricks churning away to bring the black gold to the surface.  A lot of people however would be shocked to learn that in addition to being an oil rich state, Texas is the leading producer of wind energy in the entire country.  With over a dozen major projects producing a top capacity of twelve thousand MW, wind power accounted for 8.3% of all electricity generated in Texas in 2013.


Clear Sky Images photographed the Sweetwater Wind Farm last November.  With nearly fourteen hundred wind turbines, the Sweetwater Wind Farm is the fourth largest in Texas, and the ninth largest in all of the United States.  If you take a drive up Highway153, you will go through the heart of the Wind Farm.  This leisurely trek will give you an amazing view of hundreds of giant windmills dotting the landscape.  And while it seems like it goes on forever, once you encounter your first windmill it will take you a good hour of drive time before you see the last one.


It can be difficult to get a good grasp of just how big these turbines are in pictures.  To put these wind turbines into perspective, the most widely used ones use 116 foot blades sitting on top of a 212 foot tower for a total height of 328 feet.  So from top to bottom these towers it is longer than a football field, which includes the end zone.


The landscape is striking, with crystal blue skies and never ending fields.  One of the most striking views however is this one showing the old weathered oil derrick working alongside the brand new gigantic wind turbine.  It is a great illustration of the past, present, and future of energy production here in Texas.

To see the full gallery from this shoot, click here.

Mount Bonnell

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Located just a few miles outside of downtown Austin, Mount Bonnell gives visitors a great opportunity to check the surrounding area.  Standing seven hundred and eighty feet above sea level, Mount Bonnell is second only to the Jollyville Plateau in terms of height in the Austin area.  This height allows for a fantastic view of the Lake Austin portion of the Colorado River, the 360 Bridge, and the downtown Austin skyline.


While the site was designated a Texas Historical Landmark in 1969, it has been a heavily visited tourist spot since the 1850s.  The site was named for George W. Bonnell, who was a prominent figure in the fight for Texas Independence.  In addition to being the Commissioner of Indian Affairs under president Sam Houston, he also published the prominent paper The Texas Sentinel.


There are two ways in which to reach the top of Mount Bonnell.  The most direct route is the gigantic staircase that will take you straight to the top.  The long way is a gentle slope up the side of the hill, giving you some great views of the West side (as well as some great views of some of the most expensive homes in the Austin area).  Once at the top there is a picnic area overlooking the entirety of the Austin skyline.  You will be hard pressed to find a better view for your lunch.


For those who are interested in the rich history of Mount Bonnell, there are a number of stories presented here.  Our full gallery of images can be found here.

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League City Plaza

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Located between Houston and Galveston TX, the League City Plaza is at the heart of League City’s retail hub.  Thanks to its high quality and wide variety of shops, as well as being one of the last major stops before reaching the popular vacation destination of Galveston, the League City Plaza is perfectly situated to be an economic force in the area.  With anchor stores Kroger and Spec’s, this center gets a lot of foot traffic, boosting the surrounding businesses.


When Clear Sky Images photographs a site such as this, we first focus our attention on the main tenants, making sure that they are captured from every conceivable angle.  After that we make our way around the entire property to ensure that every highlight is captured.  In the case of League City Plaza, there was significant greenery around the property, which is highlighted in our photos.


With this photo shoot we also did twilight photographs of the main tenant Kroger.  This allowed us to capture a somewhat colorful sky while showing the inside of the store being illuminated.  If you would like to see more from this set, the full gallery is here.


Ready to have us photograph your site?  Contact us today to get the process going.


Downtown Austin

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Austin, Texas is one of the fastest growing cities in nation, something that can plainly be seen just by simply walking through downtown on any given day.  No matter which direction you face, you will see buildings being renovated and skyscraper sized cranes laying the groundwork for the next high-rise office building or hotel.  Those new buildings will share the skyline with buildings like the Frost Bank Tower and the Austonian, which is the largest residential building west of the Mississippi standing at a massive 56 floors.


On the South Side of Downtown you will find Lady Bird Lake and some of the best parks and running trails in the area.  Every day thousands of runners take can be seen running up and down the waterfront, which helps solidify Austin’s position as being one of the fittest cities in the nation.  For those who are looking for something a little more low-key, Zilker Park and Auditorium Shores gives ample green space for people and their dogs to kick back and enjoy Austin’s year round warm temperatures.


The biggest draw of Downtown Austin however is the world famous 6th Street.  On any given night there will be dozens of bands playing at a variety of venues on the strip.  The weekends get even crazier, as they block off the street to allow thousands of people to roam freely, making it easier to bar hop.  Even the biggest weekend however doesn’t hold a candle to the annual South by Southwest music festival.  Each year in March thousands of bands come from all corners of the globe to perform.  If there is a place to set up a stage, you can bet there will be a dozen bands playing every day.


To see more of our Downtown Austin photography, the full gallery is here.

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LBJ Presidential Library

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The Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) Library and Museum, located on the University of Texas campus, is one of 13 Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.  Attracting approximately 100,000 visitors each year, the ten-story library is home to 45 million pages of historical documents, 650,000 photographs, and 5,000 hours of recordings from LBJ’s political career.  The museum is home to a vast and eclectic collection of various objects from President Johnson’s days in office, some donated by President Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, as well as a collection of art ranging from children’s drawings to masterpieces from artists including Diego Rivera and Winslow Homer.


Supported by The Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation and Friends of the LBJ Library, the LBJ Library and Museum hosts 5 permanent exhibits on-site and also offers exhibits online.  In addition to tours of the library and exhibits, the LBJ Library provides educational workshops and presentations featuring resources available from the museum collection.  The LBJ Library hosts various special events throughout the year such as debates, bipartisan discussion, and lectures.  Visitors are also able to schedule an appointment with an archivist in order to conduct research using both textual and audiovisual materials, with some collections also available in digital format online.  Visitors have the opportunity to memorialize their visit by purchasing souvenirs and memorabilia from the The Store at LBJ.

Clear Sky Images has many photos of this Austin landmark, as well as plenty more from around the UT Campus.