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Old Posted Dec 11, 2006, 4:36 PM
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Austin, TX - City Aerials from Jetliner

The following photos were taken on a recent flight from Austin to Los Angeles, in Mid-October 2006. The flight path took us almost directly over downtown Austin, affording us some fantastic views of the city and points westward... So without wasting any time, here ya go...

Taking off from Austin Bergstrom International (Southeast side of the city) ... State Highway 71 passes below us, heading eastward toward Houston.



Mueller Airport redevelopment of central Austin. The old Control Tower sits by itself on the right side of the complex. On the far left you can make out the new Dell Childrens Medical Center



Closer shot of the Dell medical center, with the I-35/290E interchange beyond. You can also make out the new retail center going up immediately to the left of the med center





Now the University of Texas Campus is visible







The Capitol and UT



All of Downtown Austin becomes visible





Frost Tower and neighbors. Town lake at the bottom left



zoom zoom

















Downtown, Mopac Expressway, and the Colorado River beyond





Austin's rapidly densifying West-End district



Pan out



Winging it









Zilker Park, Colorado River and Rollingwood/Westlake inner-suburbs



Mopac Expresway, heads north through the heart of West Austin



Zilker Park and Mopac Expressway



Inner suburb of Rollingwood



Mira Vista development along Bee Cave Rd, at Mopac



Mopac Expressway office buildings



Loop 360 and affluent Westlake Hills suburb.



Closeup of Westlake High School, known regionally as the launching pad for Saints NFL QB Drew Brees.



More Westlake





Tom Miller Dam and Lake Austin beyond (Colorado River)



Loop 360 snaking through the pricey suburbs of W Austin



Barton Creek Resort





The village of Bee Cave, rapidly becoming the commercial center for far W Austin and Lake Travis suburbs.



Highway 71 and Bee Cave Rd (Hwy 2244)



The emerging Hill Country Galleria retail center and residential complex in Bee Cave, along TX71, between highways 620 and 2244.





Falconhead, Lake Travis High School and Lakeway (along south shore of Lake Travis)



Lakeway and Lake Travis, with its barren shoreline, beyond (Lake level is very low due to recent drought conditions)



Lake Austin and Steiner Ranch development beyond



Winging it some more



The "Sometimes Islands" in the main basin of Lake Travis have become a peninsula of late. The 'islands' are completely submerged during normal conditions.



And like that, central texas began to disappear behind a thick layer of clouds...



Hope you enjoyed... I'll be posting additonal pics soon, from points westward... including the Guadalupe Mountains, Las Cruses, NM, Phoenix, AZ and LA, in other threads.
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2006, 4:59 PM
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awesome pics. i can't wait to get back.

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Old Posted Dec 11, 2006, 5:20 PM
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Gorgeous aerials.
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2006, 5:52 PM
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Thank You, Thank You.
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2006, 6:09 PM
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Great aerial shots!
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2006, 8:59 PM
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Wow, some of the best and clearest photos I've seen from a flight.

Looks like you got the best side of the jet for your views.

As for the Hillcountry galleria; talk about deforestation!!


Oh!, No shots of Houston?
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Old Posted Dec 11, 2006, 10:45 PM
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Gotta love aerials. You must have been snappin' away like a maniac. I like the shots from the river, thru downtown to UT. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing your flight with us.
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 3:22 AM
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I guess I expected more from Austin. I guess you can't appreciate from above like some cities. It looked very small. I hear it has the best downtown out of any Texas city though so one day I will make it there to find out for myself.
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 3:47 AM
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Originally Posted by montecarloss View Post
I guess I expected more from Austin. I guess you can't appreciate from above like some cities. It looked very small. I hear it has the best downtown out of any Texas city though so one day I will make it there to find out for myself.
The urban core is indeed relatively small for a city of nearly one million. That's changing rapidly, though, with all the new highrises recently permitted.

I love how the aerials show the wooded hills of west Austin. Once you're west of Mopac, the hills are quite high and steep, and the views are absolutely awesome. The eastern and central part of the city are only gently rolling, so the west side of the city is quite a contrast. I have a photo I'll post shortly taken from a hilltop in west Austin (not to upstage these aerial photos, which are the best I've ever seen of this area).
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 5:13 AM
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Nice pictures.

Austin likes to model itself around "smart planning" and cities like Portland, but you can tell it's a southern city developed after the invention of the car. It also has beautiful hill country and a well situated downtown within the hill country. Call it a "hip" city, but best downtown, I think it's debateable.
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 5:58 AM
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I believe the description you're looking for is: sprawltastic
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 6:01 AM
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Great shots! You must have had quite a clean window on that plane.
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 10:35 AM
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These are freaking awesome, Mopacs. Do post the rest of those aerials.
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 2:26 PM
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Interesting observations guys...

West Austin is indeed very sprawly...and partly because of the environmental restrictions in place, there is virtually no density (many acreage homesites), relative to the northern and southern suburbs. Smart growth does not exist in areas such as River Place or Barton Creek Estates. The scenery and the homes are beautiful, but I would not want to live there. Among other things, the traffic is becoming a nightmare, with large subdivisions, with one entrance/exit, emptying onto windy, 2-4 lane hill country roads. For the areas pictured outside the City of Austin's zoning jurisdiction, the developments are subject to the much more lenient Travis county regulations.

As for downtown Austin, the aerials don't do it justice... plus it is changing rapidly. Look at those same views 3-4 years from now, and the changes will be drastic. And as mentioned by DoubleL, as much as Austin aspries to be like Portland, it still has a ways to go. Its still a sunbelt city, and takes on much of those characteristics, outside the central core. As for the hipness factor, that must be experienced from street level, of course
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 2:46 PM
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As for Austin's westside, here's a sampling of the scenery from lower altitudes

















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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 3:06 PM
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I would never have thought Austin is that hilly. Good stuff. I did wonder about the 3rd pic though. Looks like an imitation of a Mosque. Wassup?
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Old Posted Dec 12, 2006, 5:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double L View Post
Nice pictures.

Austin likes to model itself around "smart planning" and cities like Portland, but you can tell it's a southern city developed after the invention of the car. It also has beautiful hill country and a well situated downtown within the hill country. Call it a "hip" city, but best downtown, I think it's debateable.
Totally agreed. It took moving away from Austin to realize that.

These pictures are really great! October is a good month to photograph the city because everything's still green, but the air is cleaner and drier and hopefully there's been more rain.
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 1:56 AM
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Here are some additional pics from the flight, including a few West Texas shots

Capitol Complex



UT's 40 Acres and State offices



Lower congress avenue, downtown



Lamar Blvd (West-End/Whole Foods area)



Mopac Expressway and Lake Austin







West Lake Hills commercial district, Loop 360



Distant, hazy view of NW Austin



Colorado River





Lake Travis again



Emerging from the cloud-cover... SSW of San Angelo (not visible)



I believe this is the small town of Crane, TX (located on US 385, about 30-40 miles south of Odessa)



The town of Monahans, along Interstate 20, halfway between Odessa and Pecos.



Military jet



The following images are of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, home of the tallest mountains in Texas. At the bottom-left of this photo, you can make out the signature "El Capitan", at the southern edge of the park.

More Info...









Wide view... southern New Mexico's White Sands is visible in the distance



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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 3:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Ex-Ithacan View Post
I would never have thought Austin is that hilly. Good stuff. I did wonder about the 3rd pic though. Looks like an imitation of a Mosque. Wassup?
What's interesting is that so many visitors who stay downtown or on I-35 don't get to see the scenery on the west side, and they leave having no idea what they missed. I'm not from here, and after my first visit years ago, I immediately pulled up roots and moved here as fast as I could. Unfortunately, most of us don't get to live in the beautiful part of the city. We have to settle for sightseeing and drives to the lake to see west side. But that's not so bad, really.

What the aerials don't show is the horrendous traffic nightmares in this area. I saw in the paper about a year ago that we have the worst traffic congestion of any mid-sized city in the country. I don't know who did the study, but I can believe the results. And I guess all of us who moved here for the "good life" created the problem!
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 4:30 AM
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Those pictures are so great, Mopacs. Thanks for posting them. Guadalupe Mountains.
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