I’ve visited Martinez many times because it’s close, the downtown is picturesque and uncrowded (especially on a Sunday afternoon), and all the picture-worthy sites are within walking distance of each other. Incorporated in 1876 (!), the town has lots of history (birthplace of Joe DiMaggio) and well-preserved historic buildings, like the John Muir National Historic Site. As the county seat of Contra Costa County, it also has several impressive buildings—great subjects for architectural photography.
I went there after the rain stopped last Sunday, and it was a beautiful afternoon, neither warm nor cool, with great clouds and clear air. This is on the shoreline of the Carquinez Strait.
Walking back to my car, I passed through a park, where a man was feeding a flock of pigeons. He did something that spooked them, and they all took off, flying right at me, which looked like this.
This is the county finance building, front-lit by the late afternoon sun.
Late in the day, I struck up a conversation with a local named Steve, who told me more about the city and let me take some photos of him. Here he is beside the Amtrak line that has a station in Martinez.
Here’s a full-length portrait on a bridge across a stream in an older part of town.
I plan to return again to Martinez to visit the Alhambra Pioneer Cemetery, which has graves from the nineteenth century, and to just enjoy the small-town feel of the downtown business district.