By the time you finish reading this paragraph, hundreds of glass-green waves will have completed crossing the Gulf of Mexico on their route to the Texas coast.

Do you have a favorite spot at the beach?

Along the way, brown pelicans will have poked at their crests for mullet while sea turtles rock and roll in their troughs. Once arriving on our beaches, the waves will break and run, painting the shoreline in skeins of lacy surf as they strive for the dunes in the slowly rising tide. If you close your eyes, you can hear the rush of the surge as it reaches the tide line, then feel the soft sand collapsing beneath your toes as the waves slide gently back out to sea.

With 367 miles of coastline, there’s definitely somewhere along the salty edge of Texas with a little slice of beach just for you. Whether it’s the sugar sand of South Padre, the cinnamon shores of Mustang Island, or the carnival colors of the Kemah Boardwalk, your backdrop will always be that beautiful hue where the sky meets the waves. And, as you may already know, blue goes with everything. Maybe that’s why we like to add our own, personal touch of color to the beach, creating a dizzy kaleidoscope of pink cottages, orange surf shops, lime-green bikinis, yellow boogie boards, rainbow umbrellas, electric-blue kites, and lavender bonnets. We also bring our dogs, children, trucks, barbecue grills, ice chests, lounge chairs, boomboxes; our spouses and partners, paperbacks and e-readers, tents, rods, reels, and smartphones; our floaties and beach towels, Frisbees and bocce balls.

Our love affair with the sun and sand transforms our coastline into the multihued canvas of a summer afternoon seaside, a background of blues and buffs layered in a calamity of color as if all the flotsam and jetsam of the world had arrived on our shores simply to service our pleasures. Best of all, when the day is done and we’re slowly making our way back to our resort hotels and rental cottages, or to our travel trailers, campgrounds, and tents, nature takes over the coastline’s palette, pigmenting clouds and tinting shadows in hues unachievable without the salt spray and soft breezes and the setting sun that make them all possible.

Do you have a favorite spot at the beach? Here are a few you might want to consider. Maybe you, too, will end up calling some of them your own.

From the June 2014 issue
The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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