Spring 2017 South Texas Birds & Wildlife Photo Workshops
3.5 Days All Inclusive Photo Shoot at the Santa Clara Ranch

May 17-20, 2017 - Spring Session 1 - SOLD OUT
June 7-11, 2017 - Spring Session 2 - SOLD OUT


    

The Rio Grande Valley is becoming one of the premier hotspots for nature photographers in the country. It has been a world class destination for birders and bird photographers (with over 500 bird species documented in the area) for many years. The "Valley", as we locals call it, is also known for its variety in reptiles (over 150 species documented) and mammals (150+ species live here).

Audubon Oriole

   

Join award winning professional photographer Hector D. Astorga for 3 1/2 days of photography and instruction. Hector, who is also the ranch manager, has been photographing and guiding for photographers at the Santa Clara for over 4 years. During the workshop we will target all the South Texas resident birds and the migratory birds that travel through the ranch this time of year. Green Jays, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Thrashers, Orioles, Painted Buntings, and many others will be our targets. We will also target raptors at the ranch's two raptor blinds. Crested Caracara, Harris Hawk, and Turkey and Black Vultures frequent the raptor blinds at the ranch. Apart from birds we will also photograph South Texas mammals and reptiles. Collard Peccaries (Javalina), White-tail deer, Armadillos, Mexican Ground Squirells, Rabbits frequent the waterholes at the ranch. If we are lucky we might be able to photograph one of the Bobcats that live in the area. Possible reptiles are Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Indigo Snake, Leopard frogs, Texas Tortoise, and other snake species like the beautiful Coachwhip snake. Hector will try to capture a Diamondback Rattlesnake so that everyone can go home with some wonderful rattlesnake images and be 100% safe while photographing it.

Juvenile Harris Hawk @ Afternoon Raptor Blind.

 

Lodging will be at the Santa Clara guesthouse. The house is a modern fully equipped home that can accomodate up to 8 people comfortably. The house has four bedrooms and 2 full baths for guests to use. All 3 meals will be provided by the Santa Clara Ranch. For more information on the guesthouse click here.
  

Northern Bobwhite.
 

Cost of Photo Tour - $1800.00 per photographer (double occupancy)*

Includes:
- Lodging at the Santa Clara Guesthouse for 3 days and 3 nights.
- All meals (catered) and non-alcoholic beverages during your stay. 
- Photographic Instruction to help you maximize your stay and improve your photographic knowledge.
- All applicable taxes.

Does not include:
- Transportation to and from the ranch.
- Alcoholic Beverages.
- Gratuities.

* Please note that ranch lodging is very comfortable, but restricted to 3 doubles. Sharing of bedrooms and bathrooms necessary—all part of the adventure! For more info on the lodging visit our lodging page at www.santaclararanch.com/guesthouse.html. Single rooms might be available but unlikely. Call us for information.
   

Painted Bunting
Nine-banded Armadillo


We are limiting the number of photographers to 4 so you can get our full attention and have unlimited exclusive access to the blinds during your stay.

Session 1 - May 17-20, 2017 - SOLD OUT
Session 2 - June 7-11, 2017 -
SOLD OUT

 

Planned Itinerary

Wednesday
- Arrive at the Santa Clara Ranch
- Welcome reception at 6:00pm (light dinner served)
- Introduction and Welcome by workshop leader Hector D. Astorga and ranch tour.

Thursday
- 6:00am - Breakfast
- 7:00am thru 10:00am- Photograph at the sunken morning blinds and morning raptor blind.
- Lunch at 12:00pm
- 2:00pm - Participant Image sharing and critique and Photoshop Workflow instruction.
- 4:00pm thru 7:00pm - Photograph at the sunken afternoon blinds and afternoon raptor blind.
- 8:30pm Dinner

Friday
- 6:00am - Breakfast
- 7:00am thru 10:00am- Photograph at the sunken morning blinds and morning raptor blind.
- Lunch at 12:00pm
- 2:00pm - Participant Image sharing and critique and South Texas Wildlife Waterhole Photography.
- 4:00pm thru 7:00pm - Photograph at the sunken afternoon blinds and afternoon raptor blind.
- 8:30pm Dinner

Saturday
- 6:00am - Breakfast
- 7:00am thru 10:00am- Photograph at the sunken morning blinds and morning raptor blind.
- Lunch at 12:00pm
- 2:00pm - Participant Image sharing and critique and building set-ups for photography.
- 4:00pm thru 7:00pm - Photograph at the sunken afternoon blinds and raptor blind.
- 8:30pm Farewell Dinner.
- Workshop Ends.

Sunday (Optional)
- 6:00am - Continental Breakfast
- 7:00am thru 10:00am - Photograph at sunken morning blinds at leisure.
- 11:00am - Depart Ranch.

Diamondback Rattlesnake
Your Workshop Leader:

Hector D. Astorga - local Rio Grande Valley Award Winning Nature Photographer, Hector has won the First Grand Prize in the Valley Land Fund Wildlife Photo Contest multiple times (2008 - Small Tract Divison and 2010 Pro and Open Divisions). He was declared the 1st Grand Prize Winner at the 2013 "Wildlife in Focus" Coastal Bend Wildlife Photography contest, a contest where he also won 3rd Grand Prize in 2011. He has also won top honors in the National Wildlife Federation annual photo contest. Hector is a freelance nature photographer based here in South Texas and he is the Ranch Manager at the Santa Clara Ranch. To learn more about Hector and to see his work visit his website at http://www.hectorastorga.com.
 

Deposit can be paid via PayPal (plus 3% fees) by clicking here


Session 1 - May 17-20, 2017 - SOLD OUT
Session 2 - June 7-11, 2017 - SOLD OUT

       
or by mailing a U.S. Check or Money Order Payable to:
     
Hector D. Astorga
2510 Dove Avenue
Mission, TX 78574

Deposits & Cancellation Policy:

  • A $900 deposit is required at the time of enrollment with full payment due by April 1, 2017.
  • Deposit is non-refundable.
  • If the photo workshop is full and someone from the waiting list can take your spot, your tuition is fully refundable minus a 15% cancellation fee.
  • We are not responsible for cancellations due to medical or other reasons.
  • Should cancellation be required due to severe weather, an alternate date will be scheduled at no additional charges.
  • No fees will be refunded if you withdraw after the photo workshop begins.
  • We are not responsible for any fees associated with non-refundable air travel, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance.

 
For more information or questions please contact Hector Astorga:
Email: hector@hectorastorga.com
Phone: (956) 821-0701.


     
All images on this website are copyrighted by the respective photographers.
No part of this website can be reproduced without written consent of the Santa Clara Ranch.
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