9 Best Photography Locations Near Bryan/College Station, TX

After living in the Bryan/College Station, Texas area for the last 10 years, I’ve come across some gorgeous locations for Instagram-worthy photos. I put together this guide to share my favorite spots and inspiration for aspiring photographers and clients alike! 

1) Research Park

College Station, TX

Why I love it? 
Research Park is a beautiful green space located on the Texas A&M University west campus in College Station, across the street from the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Packed with open greens, large shade trees, bridges overlooking multiple ponds, this location is perfect for a natural, earthy vibe. Research park is one of my go-to spots for family sessions because of the variety of backgrounds you can get. It is also really nice for quick mini session set-ups since there is so much space to set up props!  

Cost? 
FREE! My favorite kind of shoot location!

Best time of day to shoot? 
I’ve personally shot both morning and evening sessions at Research Park. With the variety of shade trees, there are plenty of options to get even, natural lighting. Or, if you prefer a brighter look, there are open spaces where you can catch full sunlight. It really is super versatile! 

Anything else you need to know?  
Parking can be a little tricky because there isn’t a dedicated lot for park. You can park on the side of the road, next to the curb throughout the park. Be careful of parking in Texas A&M University lots nearby or you might get a ticket! 

Maternity photo at research park
Boy leaning against a tree holding school books with an old style school desk in the background
Family session at research park

2) Historic Downtown Bryan

Bryan, TX

Why I love it? 
Historic Downtown Bryan, TX gives you that small town charm you’ve always dreamed about! With beautiful colored walls, and mural art, it is the perfect location if you prefer a more urban vibe, with less greenery. It’s also home to the historic Queen Theatre, which is still operational today! It makes a great backdrop for seniors, or couples’ sessions. During the holidays, the streets are lit up and decorated with beautiful lights to get you in the Christmas spirit!

Cost? 
FREE! But don’t hesitate to browse the shops and restaurants and support local small business while you’re there! 

Best time of day to shoot? 
Golden hour. For sure. But, if you have to shoot in full sunlight, there are plenty of options for side streets you can use to ease the harshness of the light. 

Anything else you need to know?  
Be sure to check the Destination Bryan calendar of events and plan around any major events like the First Friday, Texas Reds Festival, or the Downtown Street & Art Fair where the streets will be more crowded than usual. 

Young girl wearing a hat smiling at the camera while standing at the ticket counter at the Queen theatre in bryan, tx.
Man and woman kissing on the sidewalk in downtown bryan, texas.
Young woman looking back at the camera standing in front of a turquoise wall.

3) Downtown Iola, TX

Iola, TX

Why I love it? 
I was introduced to Iola, TX a few years back when I was asked to shoot some high school senior photos at my clients’ family ranch. Towards the end of the session, they wanted to go “downtown” to main street Iola, and I fell in love! And now, years later, I personally call Iola home! This location gives you that old style, country feel. It is a very rural vibe, with lots of southern charm. And what is even better, it’s NEVER crowded!

Cost? 
FREE!

Best time of day to shoot? 
Golden hour. Very little shade for harsh light, but it can be done. 

Anything else you need to know?  
Iola is on the outskirts of town, between College Station, TX and Huntsville, TX. So, depending on where you’re coming from, it’s a little bit of a drive. But, since it isn’t right in town, you don’t have to worry about crowds!

Young woman in a red dress standing in front of an abandoned food mart building in Iola, TX.
Young woman in red dress stands under a Carter's Grocery sign in downtown Iola, TX.

4) TAMU Gardens

College Station, TX

Why I love it? 
There are so many things to love about this location. It is so easy to access, right on the Texas A&M University campus behind the AgriLife building. It is a well maintained garden space, with a variety of backdrops to choose from. There are bridges, water spaces, gorgeous blooming flowers, swings and even a vineyard! All in one! If you and your clients are feeling brave, you can climb down the creek bed that runs behind the gardens for a backdrop that feels like it’s in another world!

Cost? 
FREE!

Best time of day to shoot? 
Morning or early evening golden hour!

Anything else you need to know?  
This has become a popular photo spot! So, plan a little extra time because you may have to share with other photographers or people enjoying the gardens. 

Man and woman holding hands walking under an arch covered with vines
A man and a woman cuddling on a wooden swing
A man and a woman standing in a vineyard at the TAMU gardens
Man and woman standing on a rock with trees behind them
Man and woman walking on a rock with trees behind them

5) The Light Room BCS

Bryan, TX

Why I love it? 
Ok, this one is a must visit. Not all photographers have access to an indoor option for their shoots, and this one is well worth it! The Light Room BCS is located in Downtown Bryan, TX and is an indoor studio space with beautiful natural light that you can rent out for photo shoots or small events. It is the perfect spot for styled shoots, headshots, branding, or really any session you can dream up! You have access to all of their props, furniture, and colored backdrops which is FANTASTIC if you don’t have all of your own gear yet, or simply don’t want to lug it around! 

Cost? 
There is a rental fee to use the studio space, but it is worth every penny. Check out their website for pricing details. 

Best time of day to shoot? 
Daylight, anytime! There are large, beautiful windows that allow for the perfect amount of natural light enabling you to create almost any time of the day! 

Anything else you need to know?  
This is a great location for minis if you’re needing an indoor option!

Woman sitting on the floor, smiling and tossing pink and white balloons
Woman looking down towards the ground
Woman smiling and holding a cupcake with number 33 candles on it
Woman wearing all black sitting between two window sills

6) Lick Creek/Hwy 40 Bridge

College Station, TX

Why I love it? 
This is probably one of my favorite hidden gems in College Station, TX. Right off highway 40 past the stop sign at Rock Prairie road, there is a bridge with a turn off right after where you can drive down and park your vehicle next to a gorgeous scene of rushing creek water over rocks, stone columns, and lush greenery. I drove by this spot and noticed people fishing and thought, why not try a photo shoot down there! I had a couple of adventurous clients that were willing to humor me when I told them to follow me to this bridge off highway 40 for a photo shoot… definitely sounded sketchy! But it is so beautiful and has all the rustic vibes!   

Cost? 
FREE!

Best time of day to shoot? 
Golden hour. Hands down.

Anything else you need to know?  
If you’re brave enough to wander out onto the rocks, watch out for snakes and other critters in the creek!

Man and woman standing facing each other with a creek and tree line in the background.
Young woman wearing a cowboy hat and holding a jean jack with a creek in the background
Young woman sitting in a creek bed with her feet in the water and touching the water
Man and woman with their heads against one another standing in front of a creek with a bridge over it.

7) Lick Creek Park

College Station, TX

Why I love it? 
Lick Creek Park is one of my favorite shooting locations, hands down. There are so many options for creating a variety of looks and it is easily accessible with parking! This is a very safe location if you’ve got kids or pets that you want to include in your photos. There are bridges, woodsy backgrounds, tree tunnels, and gravel trails, it’s so versatile! And, with easy parking it’s easy to carry any props you might incorporate into your photos!  

Cost? 
FREE!

Best time of day to shoot? 
Evening golden hour. 

Anything else you need to know?  
This is a very popular park for walking dogs, biking, and even horseback riding! When the weather is nice, it can be kind of crowded, so just be courteous and willing to share with those using the park for recreation.

Family of 4 walking through lick creek park
Family of 4 posing at lick creek park.
Family of 4 hugging and smiling
two girls sitting next to a metal building at lick creek park

8) George Bush Library Gardens

College Station, TX

Why I love it? 
George Bush Library Gardens are another well maintained garden space that is located on the Texas A&M University campus. Pet friendly, with a beautiful pond in the middle, and lots of beautiful blooming flowers in the spring. I love this spot for family sessions! And sometimes in the spring, you may catch some bluebonnets at the entrance of the library that you can safely sit in without having to be along the highway.

Cost? 
FREE!

Best time of day to shoot? 
Evening golden hour. 

Anything else you need to know?  
There is parking available at the library, and it is a short walk to the gardens!

Young woman sitting with her dog by a pond
Young woman walking two dogs
Young woman sitting with her dog by a pond
Family photo at George Bush library gardens
Family of 4 standing together on a bridge at the george bush library gardens

9) Century Square

College Station, TX

Why I love it? 
Century Square is such a fun location if you like a colorful, vibrant, and full of life style! There are so many beautiful shops, restaurants, and murals that make this space a prime photo op, regardless of whether you are shooting professionally or on your phone for Instagram! I love the thought and intention that went into the aesthetics when planning this space. This is also the spot Daniel and I shot some of our branding photos for our website! And don’t forget to stop by the beautiful Aggieland mural painted on the side of Hopdoddy!

Cost? 
You just need to pay for parking!

Best time of day to shoot? 
Late afternoon early evening but be conscious of the crowds of shoppers and restaurant patrons!

Anything else you need to know?  
This is a retail space, so try to be courteous and aware when shooting. Be sure to ask permission before you shoot photos inside any of the stores. 

Family photo at century square
Young girl standing in front of the Hey Sugar candy shop
Woman holding a camera looking off to the left
Woman standing in front of the Aggieland mural at Century Square.

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Do you know of any other hidden gems we need to check out? Let us know in the comments or send us a message on Instagram!

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