The San Antonio Missions


Since I moved here in November, I have appreciated that Seattle offers some amazingly diverse subject matter for photography.  Whether I am in the mood for urban street scenes or rocky beaches or temperate lowland forests, I can find a new place to explore from behind my lens every day.  That is, every day that it isn’t raining.  After two weeks of pretty much straight overcast and gloom, I found myself thinking about a photography trip I took to San Antonio last September.  My plan was to stay for five days and photograph as much as I possibly could, rain or shine.  So rain or shine, mostly rain, I went out every day, knowing I would enjoy seeing this history-rich city whether I got any strong shots or not.  Each time I set out to travel to one of the historic missions, the sun would shine and the clouds would let enough bright blue sky through to make mental shots I took in transit so stunning that my adrenaline pumped for fear that I would miss the opening by the time I arrived.  Crossing my fingers that the sun would stay, I rushed into the parking lot.  Every time and more specifically, five times, as I pulled in to the parking lot for each mission, the clouds would come together like they had just had the sudden realization that I was some naughty neighbor kid trying to sneak a peek at their lacy undergarments. The rain would pour as I would hide my camera under my coat, sometimes led on down the sidewalk by groups of stray-looking, soaked to the bone dogs. Yet, as I approached each mission, the clouds seemed to understand that I was there to genuinely appreciate the moment and to respect these stunning Spanish sanctuaries.  Abruptly, the fluffy white clouds would turn dark around the edges, would open up to blue sky in and allow the wet sidewalk to become a mirror for the arches and domes above. I’d snap as many shots as I could until I had covered an entire side of the mission.  As I would approach an entrance, the rain would start again, and I could take some indoor shots and stay dry.

More on The San Antonio Missions at the jump…
Then I’d finish up there, walk to the door to check the weather to find that the rain had stopped and were replaced once again with a post-storm display of drama. I’d finish up at that mission, head toward the car and sure enough, the rain would fall again until I was about halfway to the next mission.  By the third mission I had developed the faith that no matter what the weather looked like when I hit the parking lot, I’d see just what I had come to see. And now it appears that just writing about San Antonio Missions invokes a sudden change in the atmosphere!  After two weeks of dreary overcast, the white fluffy clouds stand out against the blue sky.  And it is the Golden Hour for photography.  I think I had better finish up here. These and other photographs are available for purchase by visiting  If you see photographs here that are not on the website, just let me know the titles of those in which you are interested by using the contact form on the website.  You may also keep apprised of new sets and individual photographs offered weekly by pressing “like” on the Keesha Davis Photography page.

Author: Keesha Davis

Since I started speaking, I have been "saying stuff." You know, that kind of stuff that makes people laugh and cringe, makes eyes widen, results in an epiphany or a furrowed brow reprimand. While this is one of my favorite personal attributes (in myself and others), it occasionally results in some mild, "I am a bad girl--I should be nicer" style self-flagellation. Recently, I went see beloved author David Sedaris speak and (once again) discovered that "saying stuff" doesn't make you a bad person, it makes thousands of people laugh. I pointed this out to my boyfriend, who just as quickly pointed out that I am not famous so it isn't the same. I redirected, "David Sedaris said things like that before he became famous. That is WHY he became famous." He replied, "Another major difference between the two of you is that he is actually funny." We both laughed at his joke that he may or may not have meant. Well, whatever. I may not be David Sedaris, but I think I'll keep saying stuff if you don't mind. Or even if you do mind. Just be quiet and listen to me. Or not. I'm listening to me and that's what really matters.

12 thoughts on “The San Antonio Missions”

  1. I'm a native Texan and made plenty of trips to the missions by elementary school bus, but I've never seen them like this. Amazing!

    1. Aw, thanks Mary! I have bunches more San Antonio Mission photos if you'd like to see them. I'll send you a Flickr link if you'd like!

  2. i've taken many pictures at these same missions and i'm not going to look at them anymore. these are exquisite. thank you for sharing them.

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