Time to Find the Nearest Beach
A day at the beach is always a good day! Since we were in search of another good day, we decided to take a trip to the nearest beach to us. Our last trip to the beach was in Corpus Christi, Texas in the middle of December. As a way to reminisce, I just went to read the blog post about our visit there and realized we were remiss in writing one. Oops - anyway it was a nice sunny, but cool day and we enjoyed driving out on the beach and even got to take our car on the shortest ferry ride we have ever seen. I’m sure we will make another trip to Corpus Christi during our stay in Texas, so we will make sure to write a detailed recap then. But for now, let’s talk about today’s visit to Magnolia Beach.
Magnolia Beach is located along the waterfront of Lavaca Bay. It is a tiny little coastal community about 11 miles outside of Port Lavaca. We read that is the only natural shell beach along the Gulf Coast. It is a natural mix of crushed oyster shells, which then morphs into the gritty sand over time. The problem with shell beaches in contrast to sandy shorelines is that they erode with greater ease. Frequent high winds and waves created by ships traveling through the channel cause additional shoreline changes.
The view is a bit skewed with the chemical plants visible across the Bay. While I don’t like the pollutants that could be caused by these plants, we are thankful for all the jobs they provide to the local area. It’s a catch 22.
We had heard of lots of people boondocking at Magnolia Beach, but we were still surprised by the number of RVs there. The beach is hard packed which makes it easy to drive on with even big rigs. The beach was about 8 miles long with both public and private beachfront. About one hundred people call Magnolia Beach home. There is a mix of houses elevated on high concrete pillars or wooden poles and other cottages built at ground level. The buildings are a little bit of this and a little bit of that and the property lines are a bit mish-mashed. We have found that to be the case in many of the coastal towns here in Texas. We did find this unique structure that intrigued Russ. With the right design, an RV would tuck nicely under there and you wouldn’t have to worry too much about a hurricane taking that structure down. Looks like it showed Hurricane Harvey who was boss about six months ago.
Even though there were quite a few RV’s on the beach, it was still uncrowded and even after a stroll on the beach we didn’t pass too many people. The beach does attract birders, shell-hunters, and shore fishers. Magnolia Beach is a vital stopover for migratory waterfowl and according to the National Audubon Society’s annual census, the bird count along these shores ranks among the highest in the nation. We learn something new everyday! Maybe you did too!
It certainly is cool to be able to drive right out onto the beach. No dragging beach chairs, coolers, and beach bags from the parking lot up and over the dunes. I’m used to the areas of the Outer Banks in North Carolina, where 4WD vehicles can drive on the beach after deflating their tires a bit. But here in Texas, driving on the beach seems like more of a norm. Sometimes at a fee and sometimes free. Lucky for us, Magnolia Beach driving and parking is free. So after finding our parking place with a view of the shoreline out the back hatch of our Pilot, I decided this was a great place to work on my photography homework. I’m taking a course called A Year with Your Camera which is an online photography class designed by Emma Davies. Thanks Mike for telling m about it! It’s a cool concept and I’m enjoying it (most of the time), so if you have a DSLR camera that you don’t know how to take pictures with unless you are on auto you may want to look into it. It’s FREE, so why not give it a try. I now understand (at least for the most part) what ISO, aperture, and shutter speed really mean and even have learned about histograms and metering. Isn't a histogram that surgery that women often have late in life? (Kidding)! Those last two were things I didn’t even know where photog terms. This week’s lesson was on shutter speed so I used the spinning bike wheel to experiment with catching movement in a photo. Even though it doesn't look like it, the wheel was spinning in both photos! They weren’t the best ever, but now I can’t wait to find a flowing waterfall to photograph. Anyone have a favorite waterfall in Texas?
While it doesn’t compare to the beaches we are used to in Florida that have more of a tropical feel, I still think you will find us perched in our chairs a few times in the next year taking in the salt air and soaking in the sunshine. If the sun ever shines here in Texas!! We’ve been told it does, but it sure hasn’t spent very many days showing its face since we arrived in the Lone Star State several months ago.