Spaniard Garcia-Lopez was in imperious form as he took the first set 6-3 and then continued his dominance to break World No 36 Gulbis and lead 4-1 in the second set.
There was to be a huge change in momentum, however, as Latvian Gulbis reeled off 11 consecutive games to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-0.
The win sees Gulbis, who claimed his fourth World Tour title, move back into the top 30 ranked players.
“I feel great, it’s my second title of the season - the fourth one of the my career," said Gulbis. "I’ve been very consistent especially in finals; I’ve never lost in a final. I’m proud of that record. "I made my short term goals. I’m going to be seeded in Melbourne with these points, so that’s done. Now everything that comes, comes. I have nothing to defend so it’s all good. “The main key why I’m not yet a top player is the consistency. Everybody knows I can play well for a tournament or a match and then I go downhill. I just need to bring this consistency to bigger tournaments, especially Grand Slams. Then I believe I am a Top 20 player for sure, and not so far from Top 10.”