Beautiful Buescher State Park

When I first moved to southeast Houston I found the hustle and bustle of city life to be a wee bit too much for my “small town” upbringing to handle seven days a week. So I asked some friends if they new of a place that was far enough from Houston that a fella could forget about city life at least for a little while. A good friend (and now my brother-in-law of 20+ years) suggested a 90 minute drive along State Highway 71 until I saw the exit for Buescher State Park near Smithville, Texas. He said to follow Park Road 1C between Buescher & Bastrop State Parks for 12 miles of the most beautiful scenery anyone could imagine. Little did I know back then that this 1000 acres of land would become one of my favorite spots to spend a weekend evening.

Buescher State Park boasts a proud Texas heritage. The park itself sits on land that was part of Stephen F. Austin’s colonial grant, and many of the original park improvements were made by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) using native timber and stone. Over the years, the folks at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) have continued to make improvements and now Buescher State Park is one of the most picturesque camping spots east of the Hill Country.

The lake near the southern entrance to the park is by far, my favorite spot. I visit this location dozens of times with my camera each year and always come away with some really nice sunset shots. Right before sunset as the wind dies down, the lake becomes as smooth and reflective as a mirror. The setting sun lights the trees lining the lake and the entire area takes on a surreal character. For a landscape photographer like me, it’s a slice of heaven less than two hours from home.

Lake Buescher

Lake Buescher – Smithville, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 30mm, f/16 for 1/13th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer and two-stop, soft graduated neutral density filter. Post capture processing was done entirely in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

5 thoughts on “Beautiful Buescher State Park

  1. This is an outstanding picture I love it. It looks like you use your 17-40 for many of your landscape shots. Is that your preferred lens for Wide Landscape? I have a T2i but want to upgrade to a 7D. I would go with the 5Dmii but I want the option for fast action and might wait to see what the next generations brings to the table.

    Have you had any experience with the Tokina 11-16? I just picked one up but have not taken it for a spin yet my 70-200 f4L has been keeping me occupied.

    Again great shot I love the Hill Country it has been a while since I have been to Smithville but I was in Kerrville last year.

    • Kevin,

      Thanks for reading. My favorite landscape lens is the Canon TS-E 24mm tilt & shift lens. However, the 17-40mm is a close second since it’s wider and lighter-weight. If you shoot Canon’s crop body cameras the best wide-angle zoom is the EF-S 10-22mm. It is the equivalent of the 17-40mm for APS-C sensors and a tack sharp lens to boot. Never used a Tokina so I can’t really comment.


    • Let me know if you need a tour guide Michael. I’d be happy to show you around these parts. For any photographer, Texas is a target rich environment. 🙂


Comments are closed.