Not all of my San Antonio engagement sessions involve children, but when they do, it’s so hard for them not to steal the show—especially this little cutie in his pint-sized fedora! Let me explain how Christina and Mario got to a point where their engagement photos included a little man with a little fedora hat.

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Christina’s dad and stepmom were the matchmakers in this love story. Shortly after meeting Mario at a backyard bar-b-q, Christina’s stepmom already knew they’d be a perfect match. She couldn’t help but tell Mario all about her. Christina’s dad excitedly asked for permission to pass her phone number along to Mario and Christina agreed, thinking to herself, “Sure, why not?”

They spoke on the phone to make sure there was some resemblance of a connection before their planned rendezvous at an Irish pub in San Antonio. The two had enough curiosity and enough in common that they agreed to proceed with meeting in person.

They first laid eyes on each other on March 7, 2015 but Christina admits that it was not exactly love at first sight. However, this first meeting went well enough that they scheduled a few more meetings in the week that immediately followed.

But then, Christina had to move abruptly because of work. Mario did not let that deter him. He visited the very first weekend she was gone and kept on visiting. They kept dating for the next three years until their official engagement on September 9, 2018.

San Antonio Engagement at Phil Hardberger Park

After living together, having a son and creating a life together, Mario—the super romantic that he is—planned a storybook proposal for Christina. He wanted to complete the story. He packed up Christina, their son and took them on a road trip to Houston. Mario reserved a room at the Indigo hotel near the famous Houston Water Wall without ever revealing his true intentions for the trip.

Unbeknownst to Christina, the hotel room had a beautiful mural of a cascading water feature that is a centerpiece of Houston. It’s an outdoor oasis in the middle of a very active and urban city. The mural of this water wall was at the head of their bed. She didn’t realize it at the time, but this was a significant clue of things to come—a clue to the future of her life.

The morning of the proposal, Mario woke everyone up early so that they could all be present when the water wall was turned on. After all, the water wall is Houston’s most-photographed site. Built in 1983, it’s a U-shaped fountain that is 64 feet tall and has water that rushes down the inside and outside of its walls. Seeing the 11,000 gallons of water start to cascade down the walls first thing in the morning is a lot like seeing a wall of water at the beginning of a flash flood. It’s exhilarating.

We arrived at the waterwall just in time. As soon as it turned on, Mario got down on one knee and asked me to drive him crazy for the rest of his life and if I would marry him. Of course I said, “Yes!”


Christina and Mario tied the knot in Cancun, Mexico back on March 6, 2020 shortly before all of the Corona craziness started.

Their wedding ceremony took place at a resort in Cancun. They wed under a gazebo, complete with a sand ceremony, and then had a reception on the beach.

Instead of taking a honeymoon, the two stayed in Mexico for a few extra days and took some of that time to enjoy the wedding bliss.

Enjoy some of my favorite images from this San Antonio engagement session at Phil Hardberger Park then be sure to watch the slideshow at the end!

The incredibly-talented vendor team that Christina chose as the ensemble of professionals for her engagement session were as follows:

If you’d like to see all the images from this San Antonio engagement session at Phil Hardberger Park, please enjoy this video. For the best quality, be sure to change the video player settings to 1080 HD. 

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san antonio senior portrait photographers ata-girl photography since 2010

I am San Antonio’s most unique wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.

I am a full-time, internationally-awarded and WPPI-C certified professional wedding and senior photographer based in South Texas near San Antonio. I offer a premier and personal service coupled with an unforgettable photography experience. I cater to clients who appreciate quality photography and help them to create family heirlooms that will last for generations.

I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.

When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I love to spend my spare time hiking, camping, cycling, reading, listening to Elvis and Prince. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of!

The post, San Antonio Engagement Session, first appeared on Ata-Girl Photography Co.’s website and blog. Please feel free to comment here, or share this post with your friends via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Please email me if you have any questions about this article or want to share a neat idea for a future blog post with me.