River Music: Morning in Austin, Texas


©BGabriel, 2015 stealjustoneday.com

Congress Avenue Bridge

“Austin, Texas.”

Say those two words aloud and your mind conjures up images with a soundtrack to accompany them. Festivals, ten-gallon hats, guitars, Stevie Ray. Austin means music. From bars to back yards, and concert halls to street corners. Any time of night or day, someone’s playing somewhere, and somebody is listening. Two-stepping. Swaying in a chair. Raising a hand. Passing the hat.

©BGabriel, 2015 stealjustoneday.com

River music

But take a walk on a Saturday morning in August, along the river that runs through the heart of Austin, and you’ll hear music in a different key. The base line played by the river itself, as it flows past smiling dogs, running teams, and friends meeting up for a stroll along the Butler hike and bike trail that loops around Lady Bird Lake.

©BGabriel, 2015 stealjustoneday.com

Kayak fishing

Melody sung clear and true by rowing shells knifing through water with barely a ripple.

©BGabriel, 2015 stealjustoneday.com

River Rower

Harmonies picked up by fishing lines spinning toward the shallows and a rainbow of kayaks and paddle boards, with bridges adding counterpoint, connecting the river’s banks.

©BGabriel, 2015 stealjustoneday.com

Red Kayaks

You are in a community while you’re at the river, linked by a physical and spiritual need for nature in the middle of the city. A friend meets you on the bridge, the runners call out in passing, and yes, that dog just smiled at you.

©BGabriel, 2015 stealjustoneday.com


Stop by some Saturday morning. Listen closely and you’ll hear those notes: the river is singing your song.

©BGabriel, 2015 stealjustoneday.com

Low Branch

Read more about exploring Austin, with a focus on barbecue!

Barbara Gabriel

Writer. Day Stealer. Chronic Traveler. Raised along Highway 61 in Minnesota, I ran away to sea & messed about in boats. I curse like a sailor and love travel, food, most people, and a well-fitting pair of boots. I try to combine those any chance I can.


  1. Excellent photos! The first one is stunning! I love the title “River Music”. I never thought of it in that way until now. There IS a music and rhythm to morning walks around town lake. The fusion of sounds of runners, dogs, cyclists and the view of the calming lake and rowers seem to fit together to create a unique experience of connection. I can’t help but feel an integral part of Austin life when I’m there.

  2. I can hear the soft sounds of the current flowing past me . . . nicely captured.

  3. Lovely combination of photos with prose. Provides a different perspective on Austin, and then you can expand that thought to other river towns and cities.

  4. I miss water… Aridzona feels awfully dry to a Minnesnowtan…

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