A lot of landscape photography is about having patience and being properly prepared. You have to be pretty lucky to just drive out to a spot and catch it at its best.
Many of the world's top landscape photographers produce their most stunning work in landscapes that they visit frequently. Often the best shot comes after several visits to the same spot. Joe Cornish's book First Light provides some examples of how a subsequent visit to the same place under different lighting conditions, or at a different times of the year can provide stunning images, albeit that the first attempt is quite successful.
Landscape photographers need to not only look at the scene in front of their eyes, but also to look and assess the potential in the landscape. They have to think about what it would look like at different times in the year, different times of day and where the shadows will fall.
It helps to make notes and modern GPS tools provide a convenient way of marking a spot to return to at a later date. You could compile a list of landscape spots matched against ideal lighting conditions. Armed with your database you could then make a well informed decision as to where you stand the best chance of shooting that stunning landscape that is waiting for you just a short drive away.
And if at first you don't succeed then patience and persistence will pay off . Return another day or wait for the light. It may be pouring with rain but that 30 second dramatic break in the cloud may be all that is required to lift the landscape from gloom to the sublime.
So there you have it a professional approach to landscape photography. The qualities of a landscape photographer are patience, persistance and preperation - my three Ps.
Cheers for now,