The Remains of Aquarena Springs

I love photographing the decay of structures made by man.  It always makes me ponder what it was like in the hay day and what caused it to be forgotten and left behind.  Unfortunately sometimes I revisit places that I have first hand knowledge of what they used to look like.  Aquarena springs is one of those places.

My family makes frequent trips to San Antonio and I bet that I have repeatedly told them stories of Aquarena springs on each of the many drives down or back.  Once I even pulled off and looked for it, but at the time we were in a hurry and the entrance didn’t jump out at me.  I kept telling myself each and every time that one day I was going to stop and revisit this childhood memory.  March 15th of 2012 ended up being the date I was able to keep that promise to myself.

I think this time down it was a bit more important to me than most.  You see, I was introduced to Aquarena Springs by my grandfather who had recently passed and all my memories of him have been heightened lately, especially those triggered by visual stimulants.  If you knew how goofy of an old man he was you would completely understand why an amusement park featuring a swimming pig would be one of the best memories I shared with him.  But it was probably the mermaids who captured my attention at the time.

Now the years have passed and Aquarena Springs is no more.  It has been rebranded as Aquarena Center and only a familiarity of the past remains as it gets remodeled and torn down.  To be honest I didn’t even remember my way around as I tried to take in as much as I could for the few short minutes I had.  I bolted up and down the trails trying to capture what I could before the quickly sinking sun was gone.  And the true treasure, the submarine theater, I wasn’t even able to get to as the area was fenced off and construction equipment filled the area.

A dream come true would be having the chance to head back down there with either a tour or pass and really spend some time photographing the remaining structures before it is completely gone and or remodeled.

Aquarena Springs

Aquarena Springs

Equipment: Nikon D700Nikon 24 – 70
Post Processing: Aperture, Nik HDR Efex ProNik Color Efex Pro,

This image is of one of the few remaining buildings I came across.  I don’t remember what it was for.  I am assuming it was used as some sort of green house, but would really love to find out some more history about it.

About Brett Cox

Photographic Artist exploring this wonderful world through my lens.
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1 Response to The Remains of Aquarena Springs

  1. Kitty says:

    Do they still have the diving course going on there? Kelly and I did it years ago and really enjoyed it. The remains of the theater and the other buildings were still there when we did it. Saw the theater from above ground and underwater. I also have memories of the swimming pig and mermaids from when I was a child. My grandmother took me (and my sisters) there for the shows. This would have been back in the 1950’s.

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