• Photo Diary: Endless Summer

    Austin, Texas is a town that has a lot to offer: from music fests to an awesome food and nightlife scene. But what may get overlooked are the beautiful landscapes that exist just beyond the city limits. When you're that far south, it's impossible to escape the heat without sacrificing outdoor fun; so what’s a group of friends to do? We'll tell you: camp. We grabbed a few friends from Austin and a few from LA and explored the beautiful Inks Lake State Park. We traversed the park's diverse terrain, cooled off in the Devil's Hole swimming spot, and had a camping trip that made us all wish that Summer would never end.
    Photos by Emmanuel Rosario

    The Exploration

    What's your story?
    I'm Evan Snyder. Born and raised in LA county. I grew up in Claremont, a small wooded college town of about 30 thousand people, 40 minutes east of Los Angeles proper. I was brought up in a musical family of weirdoes and had a super fortunate childhood being able to travel around the world with my family. I moved out to Silver Lake/Hollywood area last fall to further pursue my music career and it's been a blast of an experience.

    Where did you meet Emmanuel?
    I met him during my band Vox Waves' recording session at a recording studio in Burbank, CA this past spring—he had some friends from France with him. Matteo met Emmanuel and his crew in Austin last year at Christian's festival called Levitation. They came to our studio, snapped some pics, partied with us, etc. About 2 or 3 weeks later he hit up me and Matteo about the shoot and we were super into it.

    What do you think of Austin?
    Austin was amazing! A great place for music—which was for sure the part I was most stoked on. Emmanuel, Travis, and Christian made great tour guides and took us to the cool spots on 6th st. to see some badass live music.  The rock scene is super stripped down and generally awesome in Austin, so it was a nice change from LA.

    What was your favorite part of the camping trip?
    My favorite part of the camping trip was by far Devil's Hole.  Aside from the beautiful scenery, perfect water temperature, and the fact that it's called "Devil's Hole," I realized I had never jumped off a reasonably sized cliff into water before. I seized the hell out of this opportunity. Hanging out with Christian and Travis was super rad, too. Matteo and I are in Vox Waves together so I see that guy every day, haha.

    Tell us more about your band.
    Both myself and Matteo's main gig is definitely our Los Angeles-based, neo-psychadelic rock-and-roll band called Vox Waves. We've been doing it for a couple of years now and this past year has been amazing for us. We have since been fortunate enough to record a new set of songs in a world class studio, soon to be pitched up to some major labels. We play constantly in LA and have all devoted much of our lives to making the band a fulfilling career for all of us. 

    Setting Up Camp

    What's your story?
    I'm Travis Warren. I was born and raised in East Dallas and am currently living in Austin with my wife and three kids. I grew up playing music and going to shows at red blood club and all over Deep Ellum.

    How'd you meet Emmanuel?
    I met Emmanuel while I was working at the White Horse in Austin.

    What are your thoughts about living in Austin?
    I love Austin with all my heart—it's a magical town!

    Favorite part of your camping trip?
    Inks Lake State Park is beautiful! My favorite part was when we all swam in Devil's Hole. 

    What do you have going on in your normal day-to-day life?
    I created a non-profit called East of Cameron which will be a vocational trade school for at-risk youth in Austin. The kids will learn basic automotive, cosmetology, carpentry, and service/hospitality skills. We work with kids who don't see college in their near future (who wants to be stuck with loans for the rest of their lives anyway?). I'm also writing a children's book and playing music in a band called Street Lions.

    The Devil's Hole

    What's your story?
    I'm Christian Bland. I grew up in Texas, then went to Florida State for college then came back to go to UT in Austin and I've been here ever since. I came to Austin to study advertising and get my master's, but upon graduating, music had become my main obsession—and The Black Angels were born. 

    How'd you end up meeting Emmanuel?
    I met him this year at the Levitation Festival here in Austin. 

    How much love do you have for Austin?
    I love it here. I've been in Austin for 13 years. This was my first time to Inks Lake State Park though, and I thought it was beautiful. The Hill Country is one of my favorite destinations. There's no other city on the planet like Austin. I'm sure I'll be here another 13 plus years. 

    What was the best part of the adventure?
    Experiencing the beauty of the park and hanging with new friends. 

    Tell us more about The Black Angels.
    I've been playing in The Black Angels for 11 years now. It's been surreal getting to play all around the world and getting to meet so many awesome people along the way. I feel blessed to be having fun doing what I love most and living it up with friends across the globe. Through touring for so many years from 2005-2008, we helped start Austin Psych Fest in 2008 (now known as Levitation). It's been cool to see how the growth of the festival has mirrored the growth of a new psychedelic rock n' roll movement. In 2008 there were around 750 people that came out. This year there were over 10,000.

    After the Jump

    What's your story?
    My name is Matthew Arias—the homies call me Matteo. I grew up in suburban Los Angeles; Claremont to be exact, which is a small college town that might as well be somewhere in Connecticut or upstate New York. It just doesn't look or feel like anywhere else in California. These days I live further west in Pasadena just 15 minutes north of downtown. Me and a couple friends who are also from Claremont live out here at what we call "The Compound". It's something between a Smurf village and the place The Dude lives in The Big Lebowski. It's pretty wild. Anyway, I basically coast through life. My main goal is happiness, so I try not to stress and keep things real and spread good vibes.

    How'd you meet Emmanuel?
    For the past several years I have been going to Austin every spring for Austin Psych Fest. A festival put on by Christian and his band that celebrates the past, present, and future of psychedelic rock and pop music. Two years ago I met a group of really great dudes from France we had a really wild time at the festival. It just so happened that a few of those guys were photographers—and really good ones too—whom I met Emmanuel through at this year's fest. We drunkly bantered away for some time with lots of laughs and jokes. Emmanuel told me he and his friends would be in LA soon, so we made plans to hang out there and did just that; thats a story for another time though... 

    What do you think of Austin and Inks Lake State Park?
    I personally really dug Inks Lake. It felt a lot further from Austin than it actually was and I really liked the campground. It was a really laid back place. I could definitely see myself coming back sometime soon.

    What was your favorite part of the camping trip?
    My favorite part of the trip had to be jumping in the river. It was so damn hot out there and the water felt amazing. In retrospect, it was kind of lukewarm, but even warm water is relief under the Texas sun. I also really liked our last hike up to the top of that big peak because the sun setting on the lake and the cool afternoon breeze made for a nice shiny memory.

    What else can you tell us about your band? 
    In August, we'll be doing a small West Coast tour, and in September we are planning on getting to Europe. It's all really exciting for us and we are stoked for the future! I'm also writing some of my own tunes in the background and plan on releasing my first EP sometime next year!

    Sunset and Bonfire

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