Photographer Kenny Braun captured this group heading into the water at South Padre Island in 2003 while taking pictures for his book Surf Texas. “I think surfing is man’s most intimate and poetic relationship with nature,” says Braun, who lives in Austin but travels frequently to the Texas coast. “I’m a surfer, and it reminds me of walking out to surf with my friends. I grew up surfing on these beaches in the mid-’70s. I wanted to show what it felt like to surf and also to convey a sense of place that is the Texas Gulf Coast.” Braun says South Padre Island, with its focused swells and emerald waters, often has the best waves in the state.