At Barton Springs Pool –Austin

Barton Springs is an Austin jewel. At a temperature of around 68 degrees F, it’s one of the best places to cool off when it’s hot. The early Native Americans called it a place of healing.


This is the Philosophers’ Rock sculpture at the entrance of Barton Springs Pool. The men are J. Frank Dobie, Roy Bedichek, and Walter Prescott Webb– known as The Salon of The West. During the 1930s-50s, they enjoyed cooling off at Barton Springs Pool while conversing.

Women authors were pretty much ignored, and Austin was segregated much of this time. Blacks were not allowed to swim at Barton Springs Pool. Instead a separate pool in East Austin, Rosewood Swimming Pool, was opened for them in 1944.

The sculpture shows the trio wearing loose fitting shorts or pants with a long sleeve shirt with the sleeves rolled up. No tight fitting garments here.

Tri-atheletes at Barton Springs

Now, conversations around Barton Springs involve both men and women. These present day philosophers are discussing triathlon events and techniques. Some wade or jump in after their runs, hence the jogging shorts on the woman at the left.


More athletes and philosophers–I love the color of this woman’s suit–not the usual black. The man is wearing a wet suit to give himself buoyance while learning to swim and preparing for a triathlon.

Latino Teen Diving

Here, an Hispanic teen clad in capri length athletic pants, jumps off the diving board.


4 Responses to “At Barton Springs Pool –Austin”

  1. DSK Says:

    Nice photos. I feel a little cooler just looking at them.

  2. lithebast Says:

    Thank you for your kind comment.

  3. bluedragonfly Says:

    Ah — nice description of this wonderful place — also some interesting history I hadn’t heard before. Barton Springs always makes me feel better. After ACL this year, we’d jump in the pool just before 10 and calm down for a few minutes from the heat of the day — just perfect, and then we’d be in a better mood for biking home.

  4. lithebast Says:

    Thank you for your comment. There’s nothing like a swim in Barton Springs for cooling off and relaxing. Unfortunately, I don’t get to that as often as I would like to, but when I do it’s a treat.

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