Mustang Island is named for the herds of wild horses, Mestenos, that roamed there after being brought by Spanish explorers in the 1800s. This barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico was once inhabited by Karankawa Indians who subsisted on mussels and other shellfish.
Temperatures late that morning reached the mid-90’s and the 22-mile drive from Corpus felt dry and dusty, despite the humidity. A park ranger checked us in at the gate. For $5 per adult, kids are free, visitors gain all-day access to swim, surf, picnic, hike, mountain bike, and kayak.
Much to our surprise and delight, the barrier island proved gloriously uncrowded for a June Saturday. Sun lovers could set up an umbrella and blankets anywhere they chose. A phenomenon unseen among people-packed OC beaches on any given summer day.
We drove our all-wheel drive, rental car along soft, cream-colored dunes anchored by wild grass and flowers, and parked at the water’s edge, admiring the wide variety of sea birds. Families and fisherman mingled along the five miles of open beach as kite surfers jumped into the wind.
We stayed but an hour or so, as we had to return to Houston, 3 1/2 hours away to meet some relatives for a BBQ dinner, our first ever in The Lone Star State. There was just enough time to take in the view, shoot some pix and dip my flip-flopped feet into the cool, but not Pacific-cold waves.
Next trip, we’ll continue one hundred miles farther to the southern end of Padre Island where the Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center as well as the only Texas lighthouse open to the public await. For now, I hope you enjoy these snapshots of Mustang Island’s slow and sweet, southern coastal vibe:
Photos courtesy of Judy Lesko
Click HERE for more interpretations of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Through Your Eyes.
- Young aplomado falcons introduced to new sites Tuesday on Mustang Island (caller.com)
- Exploring South Texas (calebtamucc.wordpress.com)
- Roads to Corpus Christi (sammyjonandmom.wordpress.com)