1. Waugh Bridge Bat Colony
There are plenty of spots to get a view of this nightly spectacular, as 250,000 Mexican freetail bats emerge from their bridge habitat, but the official viewing overhang on the Allen Parkway side offers the clearest shots. The bats conveniently swarm out at dusk—or as photographers call it, the magic hour—offering beautiful images against a sunset sky. (Just don’t use that bat-scaring flash!)
2. Johnny Steele Dog Park
When it’s not flooded out, this 2-acre park is always filled with a passel of pooches running and playing—go ahead, use the #dogstagram hashtag when you take that selfie with Spot. It’s worth it.
3. Rosemont Bridge
Two steel and concrete bridges, which connect across the bayou at different levels, are pretty enough for a picture in themselves, but they also offer some of the best views of the downtown skyline in the city.
4. Gus Wortham Fountain
A generous misting from this dandelion-shaped water feature—inspired by a similar sculpture in Australia and a fixture next to Allen Parkway since 1978—is a cooling perk for joggers and other bystanders on hot days. Capturing its vapor halo, especially when there are light prisms of rainbow floating throughout, is a challenging but worthy ’gram goal.
This series of sculptures by Jaume Plensa, installed in 2011, is most intriguing on an overcast day, when their aluminum frames, carved with words from languages across the world, fade into the fog and each kneeling figure casts a ghostly form. Moody, yes, but with a message that’s much-needed right now.