Dark blue storm clouds form over clear blue water with a dark seashore in the foreground
Photo by Olga Melhiser

South Padre Island beckons visitors for coastal getaways with seafood, nightlife, nature centers, fishing, bird-watching, and above all, miles of sandy beaches. It’s the water that draws Austin-based photographer Olga Melhiser to the Gulf of Mexico when she wants to unwind. “Escaping to the coast helps me de-stress and feel happy and forget about everything else,” Melhiser says. “Every time I go, I have a routine: I like to wake up before the sun rises, get a cup of coffee, and head out to the beach with all of my gear—and hope for some luck.” Melhiser took this photo on a stormy morning in summer 2020. “The rising sun was blocked by fast-moving dark clouds,” she says. “The sun never peeked through the rain clouds, but the lack of light created these beautiful moody and monochromatic conditions.”

From the February 2023 issue

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