As a photographer, I’ve spent a lot of time in some of our city’s prettiest parks. And I’m frequently surprised by the number of families who have never been to many of these spots. So I thought I’d share some info – and beautiful pictures – from some of my favorites. You can find links to more down at the bottom but for today: Confluence Park in San Antonio.
Confluence Park is the location I most often learn clients have never been to or even heard of. But that’s not a total surprise, given that this park dates back to just 2018. A former CPS storage yard, this 3 acre lot at the confluence (see where the name comes from?) of the San Antonio River and San Pedro Creek is now an award winning modern park dedicated to nature, education, and the arts.
The most prominent feature, of course, is the Petals – the towering concrete structure that arches over the main pavilion. Inspired by how plants are shaped to funnel water from their petals to their roots, these petals also direct rainwater to a rainwater collection system that is used for the park’s irrigation. Confluence Park is full of sustainable features like this: from solar panels, to walls insulated by landscape built up around them, to the parking lot designed to absorb rainwater rather than it flooding into the streets.
It would be easy to assume the park is primarily the Petals, the education building (which houses nice bathrooms and a drinking fountain) and some beautiful native landscaping, but if you keep going through and down the stairs, you get to my favorite part: the river.
Confluence Park sits alongside the San Antonio River and the Mission Reach of the Riverwalk. Hop on that path and head north, and you’ll eventually hit downtown. In fact, my family has done a few long bike trips right from our home on Fort Sam, through the Pearl, and down the river path to Confluence and beyond. I’ve also trained for a number of half-marathons along this trail and Confluence is my go-to bathroom and water-refill stop!
From the bike path you can scramble down to the river’s edge and walk along the canoe chute to see take in the river up close or do some fishing.
Events are frequently held at Confluence Park. From Community Yoga on Saturday mornings is a staple, but I’ve seen dance classes and festival booths there. People frequently stop by for pictures, or quick little weddings (I photographed one here!). You can also different sections of the park for your own event.
Confluence Park is located on the south side of the city at 310 W. Mitchell St, San Antonio, TX 78204. The park is open every day from sunrise-11pm. Free parking is available for 35 spaces in their gravel lot, but there is nearby additional free parking (so far I’ve always been able to find a spot in their lot).
Are you a photographer looking to take pictures at Confluence Park? According to their website, they suggest a $20 donation for each day of portrait photography. They rely on these donations to help keep the river clean and beautiful, which is the whole reason the park is there. I’ve heard that due to photographers leaving behind litter like confetti and balloons, they’ll soon be making this required and upping the amount. PHOTOGRAPHERS, PLEASE, BE RESPECTFUL OF THE PLACES YOU USE AND LEAVE THEM BETTER THAN YOU FOUND THEM. And for goodness sake, don’t use confetti, or put a blanket or something down to catch it and clean it ALL up if you do. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.
Are you interested in having pictures done here? Shoot me a message and let’s talk!
Or see more from my location series here: