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The Perfect Shot

Kid learning how to fish

Are you a photographer, or a photographer wanna-be? Texas state parks are great places to hone your craft. We've got beaches, mountains, prairies, wildflowers and wildlife across the state. Get ideas for subjects and places on our Photography page.

TPWD photographer Earl Nottingham offers tips in photography articles for TPW Magazine. He covers equipment, tricks of the trade, and more.

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Hike Pick: Monahans State Park

Exploring the Dunes

Monahans Sandhills State Park Dunes

Start your hike on the .25-mile nature trail at Monahans Sandhills State Park. As you walk through shady mesquite trees, look for signs with information about the dunes and plants.

Now the real hiking adventure begins - in any direction you choose! The park has 3,840 acres open for exploration.

April and May are great months to visit, with pleasant temperatures and blooming sand dune flowers. You never know what you'll find on the other side of a dune. You could rustle up a pack of javelina or see a lizard zooming along. You'll forget the highway is nearby before long.

Be sure to take sunscreen, long sleeves, a hat and a pack with plenty of water when you set out to explore the dunes.

Park Pick: Eisenhower State Park

Under the Ancient Ocean

Paddler in Eisenhower State Park
Photo by Kate Saling, TPWD

Before setting out on our hike, I go over some ground rules. Stay on the trail. Don't touch three-leaved plants. Respect the wildlife. Yes, even the snakes.

Then there's the hardest rule for enthusiastic rock hounds to follow: Leave the fossils that you find. Every resource, from flowers to feathers to fossils, is protected so that everyone has the chance to discover and enjoy it.

All around us at Eisenhower State Park in North Texas, we see tangible links to this ancient past. Imagine the world beneath an ocean where schools of ammonites swam, mosasaurs hunted for food, and shells of oysters, clams and snails littered the sandy sea floor.

Read more in TPW Magazine.

Activities and Programs

Go Wild

Go Wild - Jack Rabbit

Enjoy wildflowers, wildlife and wild fun at your Texas State Parks!

Hop into springtime fun

Spotlight on Texas Parks & Wildlife

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