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(photo courtesy Sandcastle Days)

The ephemeral art of sand sculpting will rise from the sandy beaches of South Padre Island Oct. 4–8 when an expected 30,000 visitors will head to the city’s sun-soaked shores for Sandcastle Days. Thirty years ago, island residents Walter McDonald and Lucinda Wierenga (aka “Amazin’ Walter and Sandy Feet, respectively) founded this annual beach dweller favorite as a way to demonstrate the magical sculpting qualities of South Padre Island sand in addition to educating attendees about the destructive impact trash can have on Texas’ beaches, coastline, and ocean wildlife—including an informal “fashion show” where “models” wear clothing made from trash found on the beach.

The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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