Up Close and Personal with Texas Wildlife
March 6–10, 2022
South Texas is renowned as one of the best birding hotspots in the continental United States. More than 590 species of birds can be found in this environmentally diverse region, and many of these are not found anywhere else in the country. Our South Texas Wildlife workshop is designed to make the most of this stunning variety. The free-ranging wildlife comes to us as we photograph from comfortable custom-built blinds near attractive water features and natural food sources. This allows us to capture behaviors and interactions in the ideal light, at calibrated distances, and with photogenic backdrops. Our primary focus is birds, but we hope to photograph mammals as well, including deer, armadillo, peccaries, and—with luck!—bobcat.
Our setting for this workshop is a privately-owned 300-acre ranch that has been preserved under conservation easement. Photography is the only activity allowed on the ranch, so the wildlife is abundant and relaxed. There are a total of six blinds around the property: four in-ground for ground-dwelling critters and two that are elevated for raptor photography. We have exclusive use of the ranch during our time here, so you don’t have to worry about crowds or not being able to get in the perfect position for the shot.
We stay in the ranch’s private guesthouse rooms. There is plenty of space for dining and photo editing, and a projector and screen for our signature image reviews. The guesthouse is located only a few minutes from the blinds, so we can easily access them during great light! Meals are classic South Texas fare, prepared for us by our personal chef. Vegetarian and gluten-free diets can be accommodated on request.
You will be taught by both a Muench pro and a local guide with extensive experience photographing birds. Together, they’ll make sure you receive unparalleled one-on-one attention in the field and during image reviews, and that you come home with vibrant, detailed, and intimate images.
About the wildlife: This workshop offers significant opportunities for photographing wildlife, and while we do our best to maximize our wildlife encounters—based on past experiences, local knowledge, and the current conditions—we need to impress upon you that the wildlife really is wild and that we don’t control it.
This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.
March 6, 2022: Arrive at McAllen (MFE) Airport by 2:00 PM, and we will leave by 3:00 PM to arrive at the ranch by 4:00 PM. After a brief orientation to the Ranch, we will enjoy our first dinner. Afterwards, we will make sure everyone is comfortable with their gear and settings for the next three days. We will also have a presentation on wildlife photography composition and techniques.
March 7–9, 2022: We will spend these days photographing at the Ranch, making the most of weather conditions, wildlife visits, and time of day. We will select the ideal blind for the day’s conditions, and perches and feeding stations will be set up accordingly. Expect to be out very early in the morning and late into the afternoon photographing, with an early afternoon break for rest and downloading. Of course, we will be available in the field and during editing sessions for help and questions, and will also hold image reviews each evening. This is a great time to be at the Ranch, and we will look forward to seeing and photographing an excellent variety of local and migratory wildlife.
March 10, 2022: We’ll have a last session in the blinds, followed by breakfast. The workshop concludes after breakfast, at which time you are free to make your own way back to McAllen Airport for departure flights after 1:00 PM.
Easy: There are short walks to shoot locations. You must be able to sit still in photo blind for a few hours.
Arrive McAllen Miller International Airport (MFE), McAllen, Texas before 2:00 PM on March 6, 2022. Flights out can be made after 1:00 PM on March 10, 2022.
What to Bring
Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.
- Single occupancy lodging.
- All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop
- Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction
- Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!
- Travel to and from McAllen, Texas.
- Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
- Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
- Anything else specifically not listed as included.
“Although all of the Muench Pros were superb, I want to give a special shout out to Lisa LaPointe. She is a real gem. Her extensive knowledge of photography and wildlife behavior combined with her gentle manner and excellent teaching skills are incredible. Thank you, Lisa! ”