‘If These Walls Could Talk’: We’ve compiled our top ten list of murals for photo ops

Wall paintings make colorful backdrops for selfies

While most are deserving of attention, there are a few that stand out more than others as the perfect backdrops for selfies.
While most are deserving of attention, there are a few that stand out more than others as the perfect backdrops for selfies.

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio, more and more, is becoming known as a mural city.

The often colorful art work adorns walls all over town.

RELATED: ‘If These Walls Could Talk’: Stalled plans for apartments, business give way to mini mural city

While most are deserving of attention, there are a few that stand out more than others as the perfect backdrops for selfies.

A chimp painted both behind and on a pillar is part of the art work that gives life to the St. Mary's strip. (KSAT 12 News)

Below is our top ten list of spots for photo ops.

10: The “Greetings from San Antonio” mural. It is located on the side wall of Back Unturned Brewing Co at 516 Brooklyn Avenue, just north of downtown. The mural looks like a giant postcard and would be perfect for a photo to send to out-of-town friends.

9. Selena mural. This is on one of the side walls of Alamo Candy Company at 1149 W. Hildebrand. No list is complete without a photo of the late super star. Although there are several murals of the iconic singer throughout the city, this one gets extra praise because of its easy access. Parking is readily available on a side street, and you can take pictures out of the way of traffic.

8. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. mural. Located on the front wall of Greater Faith Institutional Church, the painting of the late civil rights leader has been the backdrop of numerous selfies, particularly those taken on the day of the city’s annual King Day march. Located at 3514 Martin Luther Drive, it features the image of King speaking before a crowd.

7. Nipsey Hussle mural. The late rapper is immortalized in a painting on the side of a wall near a 7-11 store in the 800 block of San Pedro Avenue. Painted by local artist Colten Valentine, the mural has attracted attention from people around the world.

6. Cardi B. mural. Equally as famous is the mural of the hip hop bad girl, Cardi B., which occupies a wall panel right next to the Nipsey Hussle mural. This one has undergone several changes since its original installation. The original painting featured Cardi in her famous pose, sticking out her tongue. However, the mural later got an update due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cardi now wears a white face mask.

5. Manu Ginobili mural. Paintings of the San Antonio Spurs occupy a lot of real estate throughout the city. One mural located on the side wall of a former bar, Franky Diablos, features one of the most well-known members of the team, Manu Ginobili. The mural at 1301 Roosevelt thanks the retired basketball star for his years of service to the city. The building is now occupied by a church.

Everything from graffiti style writing to cartoon characters decorates the walls near Hoefgen and Carolina streets. (KSAT 12 News)

4. Hoefgen outdoor gallery. Selfie enthusiast have their pick of several wall panels located near the intersection of Hoefgen and Carolina streets. Everything from cartoon characters to graffiti-style lettering together form one of the most colorful backdrops for photos in the city.

3. Essex Modern City. Located just across the railroad tracks from the Hoefgen gallery is another compilation of murals known as Essex Modern City. The space at 51 Essex Street originally was slated for the construction of apartments and businesses. However, the plan is stalled while the owners of the property, which is adjacent to railroad tracks, try to work out a noise agreement with the city of San Antonio. In the meantime, artists were allowed to show off their talents on a series of free-standing walls.

Paintings decorate the pillars beneath the Interstate 35 overpass near St. Mary's Street. (KSAT 12 News)

2. I-35 bridge. What had been blank support beams are now decorated with numerous paintings. Although these technically are not walls, the larger than life artwork still makes the list for their photogenic nature. People come from near and far to take pictures and spend time under the bridge near Interstate 35 and N. St. Mary’s Street.

1. St. Mary’s Strip. The number of murals along this stretch of road between Interstate 35 and Woodlawn Avenue may be eclipsed only by the number of bars. The area is known for its party life at night, but by days, it’s the wall paintings that attract attention.

If you have a favorite mural for photos please let us know. We may use your suggestion in a future story.


About the Authors:

Katrina Webber was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas.

Tim has been a photojournalist and video editor at KSAT since 1998. He came to San Antonio from Lubbock, where he worked in TV and earned his bachelor's degree in Electronic Media and Communication from Texas Tech University. Tim has won a handful of awards and has earned a master's in Strategic Communication and Innovation from Tech as well.