Yellow sunlight dips below a dark blue horizon along the water
Photo by Larry Ditto

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge harbors 110,000 acres of coastal wetlands, prairies, and beaches near Los Fresnos and South Padre Island. The federal government established the refuge in 1946 to protect habitat for wintering waterfowl and other migratory birds. “We are located along two major flyways, making it great for birding,” says George Garcia, visitor services manager at the refuge. Laguna Atascosa is also home to more than 450 plant species, including Spanish dagger (yucca gloriosa), shown here against the backdrop of the Laguna Madre at sunrise. The refuge, which has more than 60 miles of hiking and biking trails, opens daily from sunrise to sunset.

From the June 2022 issue

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