SOUTH PADRE ISLAND | SUMMER
Artists & Entrepreneurs
Sea Turtle Inc.
THERE’S NOTHING SLOW ABOUT SEA TURTLE, INC.
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND U LT I M AT E I N S I D E R ’ S G U I D E
When it comes to South Padre Island’s real estate market, Troy Giles Realty stays ahead of the game. Relax and leave the selling to us! • Call us for a free property valuation • It’s a seller's market and now is the time to sell • List with licensed professionals who know the market • Specializing in residential, commercial and new construction • Our experts will help you receive the highest possible return on your investment • Experienced real estate agents you can trust to sell your home, condo or land • Troy Giles Realty is the #1 locally owned boutique real estate office on South Padre Island
www.tgreo.com 956.761.2040 Serving the South Padre Island & Laguna Madre Area Since 1973
Letter from the Publisher. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
SALLY FRAUSTRO GUERRA PRESIDENT + PUBLISHER
How to Hang Like a Local . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Artists & Entrepreneurs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Let’s Eat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Get Out: Things To Do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
VICE PRESIDENT + PUBLISHER
Destination Paradise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Beyond the Beach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Etiquestions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 The Fun Finder: Get Out In The Water. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Nothing Slow About Sea Turtle, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 The Fun Finder: Dolphin Watching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 SPI Birding & Nature Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Out & About - Live Music. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
DR. KIMBERLY SELBER EDITOR
RGV Reef . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Summer Fireworks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 SpaceX Mission to Mars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Amphitheater. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
The Cassowary Conundrum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 El Paseo Arts Foundation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Calendar of Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Bronson delRio Decibel Communications
SPI CVB Museum of South Padre Island Quinta Mazatlan Carlos Nuñez Bar Louie
Coconut Jack’s SPI Laguna Bob Lobo Del Mar Louie’s Backyard The Quarterdeck Lounge
Wanna Wanna Beach Bar Tequila Sunset Bar Sea Turtle Inc
Dr. Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa Dr. Kimberly Selber Gladys Porter Zoo
FOR ADVERTISING OR OTHER INQUIRIES, REACH OUT! E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.socialifeRGV.com
Office: (956) 683-8499
Socialife is published by Socialife News, LLC Permission to use any material herein must be approved in writing by the publisher.
The beach has always been one of my happy places. I appreciate being able to get up early and take a quiet walk as the sun and surf are waking up. The shore is so peaceful and grounding. But truly, I’m a sunset girl, and some of the most beautiful painted skies I’ve ever enjoyed have been over the Laguna Madre and over a Bloody Mary! This edition of SOCIALIFE SPI is chock full of things to do, something to learn, and places to visit while spending time on the Island. In one day, you can learn about the island's history, help rescue sea turtles, lounge on the beach, jump the waves on the Gulf, have a fabulous meal, enjoy live entertainment, and top it all off with a magnificent fireworks display. And you can do something completely different the next day! Whether you're a first-time visitor, a regular, or a resident, South Padre is your island. So kick off your shoes, dig your toes in the sand and relax with SOCIALIFE SPI.
Sally Fraustro Guerra
HOW WE DO IT
How to Hang Like A Local: Mayor Patrick McNulty
If you’ve come to the Island for a day or a week, it’s not hard to consider yourself a local. Being local is a state of mind, and the Island is a welcoming community. Kick off your shoes, put your toes in the sand, and start hangin’ like a local.
Take your tie OFF before we chop it off. If you’re lucky enough to be here for a business meeting, ties are (practically) outlawed.
Understand the importance of sunscreen, especially when it’s cloudy.
Get on or under the water. Lounge in the surf, sail the bay, fish the bay or on the open water, jet skiing, scuba diving, or snorkeling. There is so much to see, explore and appreciate.
We love our surf and sand, and keeping it clean is everyone’s job.
Passionate about our Sea Turtles we are one of the only beaches in the world where the Ridley Kemp nests. When there’s a hatching, you’ll want to be there.
Respect for the sandcastle. We consider this an art form and you can admire the amazing craftsmanship all over the Island or take a class to learn how you can build your dream castle.
Flip flops are worn for both work and play, day and night.
ARTISTS & ENTREPRENEURS
BUILDING SOUTH PADRE ISLAND’S ARTS COMMUNITY ABI SPI
You can feel the creativity growing throughout South Padre Island. Flourishes of color, the gentle curve of sculpture, the interpretation of life. Nowhere is the support of the growing art culture more prevalent than at The Art Business Incubator South Padre Island (ABI SPI). Through ABI SPI’s residency program, artists who desire to own and operate art-related businesses on the Island are provided with studio space, art supplies, business education courses in conjunction with The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley,, and a community of like-minded individuals. The goal is to establish South Padre Island as an arts destination. Each year, five to six new 2D or 3D artists are accepted into the yearlong residency program. “At the end of their residency, they leave the program with a support structure, mentors, and friends,” said Deanna Powell, Program Director. In
addition, visitors can take classes, attend gallery shows, and stop by any time to view the residents at work. “We also host a monthly popup Art Fest the second Saturday of each month,” Powell commented. Art from the residents can be found all over the Island on display and for sale. Two recent graduates, Hamsa and Malia Quinn both opened galleries on the Island this year—Quinn Gallery and The Art Lounge. Quinn Gallery is just next door to ABI SPI and features Quinn’s own work and others. It’s an intimate space and just what the artist wanted. “I dreamed of a small gallery where I can exhibit work, paint, and visit with guests,” said Quinn. The ABI SPI residency program brought the Colorado native to SPI during the pandemic to study oceanscapes. “I’ve been told that I paint the spirit of my subjects,” Quinn reflected. “I like that.”
DEANNA POWELL, ABI SPI PROGRAM DIRECTOR Art Business Incubator South Padre Island 2500 Padre Blvd. Suite 1 www.abispi.com
ABI SPI SUCCESS STORIES: CHECK OUT THE ART LOUNGE + QUINN GALLERY (next door to ABI SPI)
Recent Art Business Incubator graduate, Hamsa, is fulfilling her ABI mission of enriching the art scene on South Padre Island with the opening of her new contemporary gallery, the Art Lounge.
HAMSA, OWNER ART LOUNGE SPI @theartloungespi
THE ART LOUNGE A VIBRANT, NEW CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY IN PARADISE
The Art Lounge is a cutting-edge gallery that serves as a gathering space for artists and art lovers alike. Emphasizing locally sourced art, the Lounge is dedicated to showcasing diverse forms of ceramics, paintings, woodwork, and more. Additionally, the Lounge is a creative gathering space for fun art instruction, workshops, and events—attracting art enthusiasts far and wide to collect and create with local artists and guests. “One day you may find a poetry
reading alongside painters, another evening you may hear a local jazz band or a find a yoga class,” said Hamsa. The Lounge is about individual awareness, participation, appreciation, and enjoyment of the arts while building a strong, thriving, and vibrant arts community on the Island. The Lounge also provides studio space to a select group of artists for gallery exhibits, art instruction, and workshops. For the public, the Lounge offers a creative gathering space, engaging, hands-on art events and classes, and artist-led art tours to various art destinations and shops throughout the island.
THE ART LOUNGE 33256 State Park Rd 100 #102 www.abiaspi.com
CRISTINA PIECUCH ABI SPI Grad, featured artist and manager of the Art Lounge
HAMSA Hamsa, which means “swan” in Sanskrit, is a mixed medium artist originally from Minnesota, now permanently residing on South Padre Island. She uses an acrylic pour technique combining paint, paint additive, and silicon to create a reaction similar to an oil slick. She doesn’t measure her ingredients but prefers to give up control and “collaborate with the unknown.” She then adds various mediums to create dimension, texture, and details in subsequent layers of her work. Hamsa has worked mainly as a commission artist, creating works specifically for public institutions, corporate buildings, and private collectors throughout Minnesota. “As a social worker, I saw ugly, uninspiring facilities (detox centers). I felt strongly that the beautiful souls who needed healing deserved to be surrounded by art.” With the help of her family and other artists, they covered the institutional walls with paintings and murals.
She was accepted into the South Padre Island ABI residency program in March of 2021 and created two series of work inspired by her new surroundings: “Sea Life” and “Bird’s Eye View.” Sea Life involves bright contrasting colors and movement, while Bird’s Eye View has more subdued colors and stillness. At her ABI graduation and solo show on April 1, 2022, she introduced an abstract series called the jewel collection, featuring large canvases (4’ x 4’) with miniature detailed subject matters (best viewed with a magnifying glass). With the help of ABI, Hamsa is excited to launch her own gallery, The Art Lounge.
“In a world full of information it’s natural to crave inspiration, art is a wonderful reminder that there is much more to life (and us) than our daily routines.” -Hamsa
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT “Making art is about making decisions. Just like life. Some are bad decisions, which you can fix, and some you can not.”
-E. Del Angel
EDDIE DEL ANGEL Eddie Del Angel is one of two new ABI SPI resident artists starting in April 2022. A self-taught artist and native of both Brownsville and Matamoros, Del Angel, brings a sense of individual interpretation to his work. “I believe the artist provides half of the story and the viewer the other half. I purposefully leave my work open to interpretation.”
Originally planning to study architecture, Del Angel enrolled in a drawing class at UT Brownsville (now UT Rio Grande Valley) and found his passion. Del Angel’s body of work is a mix of graphic design and realism. He likes to experiment in different mediums to find new and interesting ways to create art.
BEACHSIDE DECK BAR COMING SUMMER 2022
Hilton Garden Inn on South Padre Island is your ideal beachfront getaway experience. Located directly on the beach, we feature on-site and in-room dining and drinks, in-house Starbucks Coffee, and a well-appointed gift shop for all of your vacation needs. Come find out why we are visitor’s top-rated hotel on South Padre Island’s beach.
7010 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island (956) 761-8700 hiltonsouthpadre.com H O S P I TA L I T Y
Firing up delicious Tex-Mex since 1982. For nearly 40 years, we've cultivated a delicious menu featuring the BOLD ﬂavors of Texas and Mexico. From using mesquite-wood grills to sear special marinades into our fajitas to crafting margaritas, chips, salsa, guacamole and tortillas by hand daily, we take pride in serving authentic Border-Style meals in generous portions.
H O S P I TA L I T Y
Where to eat at South Padre Island
The Food Finder
BAJA CALI - FOOD TRUCK Mexican, Tacos 1201 Padre Blvd. 956-346-7451
CHILITTO PIKIN Mexican 3305 Padre Blvd. 956-433-5484
DIRTY AL'S Seafood 1 Padre Blvd. 956-761-4901
BAR LOUIE AT MARRIOTT COURTYARD SPI Burgers, Sandwiches, Seafood, Salads 6700 Padre Blvd. 956-433-2098
CLAYTON'S BEACH BAR & GRILL Burgers, Mexican 6900 Padre Blvd. 956-761-5900
DIRTY AL'S AT PELICAN STATION Seafood 201 S Garcia St 956-943-3344
BERRY DIVINE ACAI BOWLS Acai Bowls 1808 Padre Blvd., Ste. B (617) 653-1164
COCONUT JACK'S Seafood, Sandwiches 2301 Laguna Blvd. 956-761-4218
BLACKBEARD'S Seafood, Steaks, Burgers 103 E. Saturn 956-761-2962
CORAL REEF LOUNGE American 5301 Padre Blvd. 956-761-1813
BURGERFI Burgers 5001 Padre Blvd. 956-433-5502
D' PIZZA JOINT Pizza, Subs 2413 Padre Blvd. 956-761-7995
CAFE KARMA Pastries, Sandwiches 5200 Padre Blvd., Ste. #101 956-803-5991
DADDY'S SEAFOOD & CAJUN KITCHEN Seafood 1808 Padre Blvd. 956-761-1975
CAFE ON THE BEACH AT PALMS RESORT Seafood, Breakfast 3616 Gulf Blvd. 956-761-2703
DAIQUIRIS 2 GO Daiquiris 2600 Padre Blvd., Ste. C (956) 299-4292
CAP'N ROYS Seaford, Mexican 1313 Padre Blvd. 956-761-9990
DAIRY QUEEN Ice Cream, Fast Food 2401 Padre Blvd. 956-761-1072
CEVICHE CEVICHE Seafood 1004 Padre Blvd. 956-772-1555
DENNY'S Breakfast, American 1110 Padre Blvd. 956-761-1887
DOÑA CARMEN’S RESTAURANT #4 Mexican Breakfast & Lunch 5800 Padre Blvd. 956-484-2314 EL CHILANGO TAQUERIA Breakfast, Mexican, Tacos 1912 Padre Blvd. 956-433-5002 F&B SPI RESTAURANT Fine Dining, Steaks, Seafood 3109 Padre Blvd. 956-772-8114 GABRIELLA'S ITALIAN GRILL & PIZZERIA Italian, Pizza 700 Padre Blvd. 956-761-6111 GRAPEVINE CAFÉ Breakfast, Mexican, Sandwiches 100 E. Swordfish 956-761-8463 JAKE'S RESTAURANT AND BAR Burgers, Seafood, Steaks 2001 Padre Blvd. 956-761-5012
JOHNNY ROCKETS Burgers 410 Padre Blvd. 956-433-5504
LOUIE'S BACKYARD Seafood, Steaks 2305 Laguna Blvd. 956-761-6406
JOSEPHINE'S KITCHEN Breakfast, American 3409 Padre Blvd. 956-299-4910
MCDONALD’S Burgers, Fast Food 908 Padre Blvd. 956-761-4999
KELLY'S PUB Irish 101 E. Morningside 956- 299-4910
MAHI NIC Burgers, Tacos, Fries 3338 State Park Rd., Ste. 100 956-243-0279
KIC'S ICE CREAM Ice Cream 2500 Padre Blvd., Ste. 2 956-426-9181
MARCELLO'S OCEAN GRILLE & SPIRITS Gulf Coast cuisine, steaks & housemade pasta 110 N. Tarnava St. 956-943-7611
PINEAPPLE NINJAZ - FOOD TRUCK Seafood 1201 Padre Blvd. 956-662-8782 PIZZA HUT Pizza, Fast Food 1905 Padre Blvd. 956-761-1361
TEQUILA SUNSET Burgers, Mexican 200 W. Pike St. 956-761-6198 TOM & JERRY'S BAR & GRILL Burgers, Seafood, American 3213 Padre Blvd. 956-761-8999
PORKY'S PIT BBQ 5301 Padre Blvd. 956-772-8143
TROPICAL SMOOTHIE CAFÉ Smoothies, Sandwiches, Salads 410 Padre Blvd., Ste. NI 956-433-5259
RED MANGO Frozen Yogurt Smoothies, Juice 1808 Padre Blvd., Ste. B 956-299-4921
UPPERDECK American, Sandwiches 120 E. Atol St. 956-761-5953
ROCOTTO Peruvian 1500 Gulf Blvd. 956-761-5555
WANNA WANNA Seafood, Sandwiches 5100 Gulf Blvd. 956-761-7677
RUSSO' NEW YORK PIZZERIA Pizza, Italian 410 Padre Blvd., Ste. 101 956-299-4987
WHATABURGER Burgers, Fast Food 105 W. Retama 956-761-7862
SEA RANCH Seafood, Steaks 3330 State Park Rd., Ste. 100 956-761-1314
WILLIEDEAN BAGELS Bagels, Sandwiches 1817 Padre Blvd., Ste. 3 956-433-5119
ON THE BORDER Mexican 7010 Padre Blvd. 956-772-1087
SEASIDE GRILL AT BEACH RESORT Seafood, Steaks 100 Padre Blvd. 956-426-9066
WINDJAMMERS AT ISLA GRAND Seafood, Steaks, Sandwiches 500 Padre Blvd. 956-761-6511
PADRE ISLAND BREWING CO. Pizza, Seafood, Sandwiches 3400 Padre Blvd. 956-761-9585
SENOR DONKEY Mexican 4215 Padre Blvd. 956-761-4843
WING STOP Wings, Fast Food 2400 Padre Blvd. 956-761-1300
LIFTED DAIQUIRI Daiquiris 3508 Padre Blvd. 956-433-5167
PADRERITA GRILL Seafood, Sandwiches, Mexican 4001 Padre Blvd. 956-761-7482
SPI MUNCHIES Variety of Snacks 4000 Padre Blvd. 956-312-7331
YUMMIE’S BISTRO Breakfast, Sandwiches, Salads 700 Padre Blvd. 956-761-2526
LOBO DEL MAR Mexican, Seafood, Sandwiches 204 W. Palm St. 956-772-4700
PAINTED MARLIN GRILLE Seafood, Sandwiches 202 W. Whiting 956-761-2977
SUBWAY Sandwiches, Salads 2100 Padre Blvd. 956-761-6700
LONGBOARD BAR & GRILL Southwest, Caribbean 205 W. Palm St. 958-772-7022
PARROT EYES RESTAURANT Seafood, Sandwiches 5801 Padre Blvd. 956-772-9040
TACO PALENQUE Mexican 100 Padre Blvd. 956-345-9979
KOHNAMI SUSHI Japanese, Sushi 410 Padre Blvd., Ste. 102 956-761-2446 LAGUNA BOB Seafood, Sandwiches 2401 Laguna Blvd. 956-433-5499 LANDSHARK BAR & GRILL AT THE PEARL American, Burgers 310 Padre Blvd. 956-761-6551 LAS OLAS RESTAURANT Mexican 340 Padre Blvd. 956-761-2514 LIAM'S STEAKHOUSE & OYSTER BAR Steak, Seafood 202 W. Tarpon St. 956-772-4700
MEATBALL CAFÉ Italian 2412 Padre Blvd. 956-299-4805 MONTANA'S THE KRAKEN Pub Food, Sandwiches 2700 Padre Blvd. 956-772-7002 MOTORAMEN - FOOD TRUCK Ramen 1201 Padre Blvd. 956-662-8782
The Fun Finder GET OUT:
Things to do By Dr. Kimberly Selber
RELAX Now that your here at the Island, it is time for some serious relaxation. Whether you want to feel the salt water on your skin seaside or have a salt scrub in one of our luxury spas, SPI is filled with opportunity. Join a yoga class in the morning, spend the afternoon shopping at our many boutiques, and round out the evening with dinning, dancing and a great big fireworks display. Nothing says unplugged like a day at the Island.
ART & CULTURE SPI may be known as a beach destination, but we’re also an arts and culture mecca. Visit ABI SPI and take a painting class or take in one of local artist galleries. If theater and music is your thing, check out the Amphitheater line up or take in a play with El Paseo. For some unscheduled culture, walk the sandcastle or sea turtle art trail, or visit the museum.
NATURE TOURISM South Padre Island is home to a host of marine and shore life. Make sure to make time to visit Sea Turtle, Inc., the largest sea turtle hospital in the world, and the Birding, Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary - that’s right alligators. Big Padre may look like he’s taking a nap, but he’s got an eye on you! Of course, no trip to the Island would be complete without doing some dolphin watching. Our acrobatic aquatic friends love to show off for visitors and many of the dolphin pods can be seen year-round.
OUTDOOR ADVENTURE Whether your bucketlist includes adrenaline inducing highs or just being outdoors, SPI can help you check some things off your list. From banana boat rides to zip lining, you can find your happy place on the shore or in the sea. The Island is filled with rental locations for jet skis, windsurfers, kiteboards, dune buggies, snorkeling or spear fishing trips and much, much more.
PARKS Even at the beach, you might be craving some green space. Turtle park has a climbing turtle for toddlers and Tompkins Park has basketball courts, two playgrounds and a skatepark. Several other pocket parks can be found on the Island with just the bench you need to enjoy the sun.
DESTINATION PARADISE South Padre Island is perfect for a tropical business retreat
There’s more to South Padre Island than beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear water. Behind the scenes is the dedicated team of the South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), making sure South Padre Island is a destination of choice for both recreational and business travelers. With over 34 miles of beach, 300+ days of sunshine, and all forms of entertainment from water sports to live music, SPI is the perfect tropical retreat in Texas. Meeting planners especially love South Padre Island’s setting and accommodations for events of all sizes. With full-service resorts, venues with an ocean view, and tropical adventures that go beyond the boardroom, your biggest decision will be how soon you can get here.
South Padre Island Accolades » One of the “World’s Greatest Kiteboarding Spots” by National Geographic » One of “America’s Top 10 Winter Beach Escapes” by International Business Times » “Best Affordable U.S. Vacation” and “Best Family Beach” by U.S. News & World Report » “World’s Top 30 Island Beaches” by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine » Proclaimed by the Texas Senate, “Fireworks Capital of Texas” » One of “America’s Beautiful Beaches” USA Today Travel » “Top 5 Texas Coast Sports” by San Antonio Current
The CVB is ready to assist in all your business travel needs. Give them a call at (956) 761-3000 to plan your next big event.
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
Enjoy the newest beachfront resort hotel on South Padre Island. Courtyard by Marriott offers top-class amenities all in house, so you’ll never need to walk far for everything you need. Located on the beach, your room is only steps from the sand. Did you forget something at home? Stop in at our amazing gift and sundries shop and get everything you need to enjoy a beautiful day on beach. Induldge in a morning cup of delicious coffee, tea, or even a cocktail at our in-house Bistro Cafe, proudly servicing Starbucks Coffee! Take your family for an amazing meal at our in-house Bar Louie, serving Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner!
• 224 Large Guestrooms, • 15,000 square feet of Meetings & Events Space. • Bar Louie Oceanside Bar & Restaurant • Beachside Swimming Pool • Balcony in Every Room • In-house Starbucks Coffee • In-House Gift Shop
6700 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island, TX 78597 (956) 433-0590 marriottsouthpadre.com H O S P I TA L I T Y
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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND HISTORY
BEYOND THE BEACH The historical significance of South Padre Island at Isla Blanca Park By Dr. Kimberly Selber
Imagine strolling the beautiful South Padre Island beach early one morning and coming upon a projectile point buried in the sand. Where did it come from? How old could it be? Who made it, and how did it get here? These questions, and the history of South Padre Island itself, will be the foundation for the new Historical Museum of South Padre Island (HMSPI). “The Island has a rich history, and preserving that history is important,” said Dennis Franke, museum president and founder. Projectile points, like the one now in Franke’s office, were not made on the island. “The point would have been carried to what is now South Padre Island more than eight thousand years ago,” when the shoreline was more than 50 miles east of its current location, Franke speculates. In conjunction with HMSPI, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
CHAPS program will share their geographic and anthropological research of the Island, which goes back 20,000 years. In addition, the museum is seeking public assistance in sharing its island photos and artifacts going back to the early 1900s. “People may have old family vacation photos and not realize how valuable they are to the museum,” said Franke. “It’s what is in the background, what the island looked like, that we are also interested in.” A permanent home for the museum is scheduled to break ground soon. To donate or loan your South Padre Island artifacts or photos to the museum’s collection, please contact: Dennise Franke at (956) 572-0608
S O U T H PA D R E I S L A N D
e f i l f o y a w w e n e l o h w a e c n e i r e p x . E s e r o h S e at Th Franke Realty 8605 Padre Boulevard South Padre Island, Texas 78597 (800) 447-4753
ETIQUESTIONS Dr. Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa
on our best behavior?
When we go to the beach, we want some space. But, on busy days, people pitch their camps right next to us. What is the appropriate amount of space to put between you and your beach neighbors?
The beach is such a great place to spend with the family.
Continue social distancing on the beach! OK, while keeping 6 feet
However, a long, hot, tiring beach day primes every kid
away from others may not always be realistic on the beach, this
My family is so excited about spending most of our summer days at the beach. What should we keep in mind so that we are
for a meltdown. Pay attention to your children, and make sure you are aware when it is time to go inside for a break. Screaming kids disrupt people around you and are considered extremely rude when people are trying to relax.
is one COVID-19 rule that some beachgoers say they wish would stay. Ideally, try to put 4-12 feet between you and the next group of beachgoers. When you go to the beach, you want your space and so do others. Be mindful and don't set up camp too close to other people.
I always have trouble shaking all the sand out of my towels when I am on the beach. I try not to shower everyone around me with sand, but others do not seem to do the same thing. Help? Do be mindful of where you shake out sand. Shaking out towels into a breeze or kicking sand onto others' towels are sure ways to annoy your fellow beachgoers. Think twice before shaking out any of your sand-coated belongings. Take them to a place where the wind is not so strong, and people are not around before you shake the sand out.
Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa, Ph.D. is a wife, mother, and educator living in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. She is a graduate of Our Lady of the Lake University with a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies. In addition, she holds an Associate of Arts degree in Education from McLennan Community College, Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas – Pan American, and a Master of Arts in Educational Supervision from the University of Texas – Pan American. Dr. Baggerly-Hinojosa’s current research is focused on servant leadership, gender issues in leadership, and leadership communication. www.leadershipempowermentgroup.com
The Fun Finder
Get Out on the Water!
Where to go for fun in the sun South Padre Island
FISHING GUIDE ALWAYS A CATCH FISHING TRIPS 956-524-3002
CAPTAIN MURPHY’S FISHING CHARTERS 956-761-2764
REEL DEAL CHARTERS WITH CAPTAIN DAVE 956-517-9404
BIG JOHN’S FISHING GUIDE 956-266-2102
CRYSTAL FLATS GUIDE SERVICE 956-346-0140
SALT WALKER FISHING CHARTERS 361-793-1598
BLAST TO CAST GUIDE SERVICES 956-243-1465
DANNY B FISHING CHARTERS 956-761-1389
BREAKAWAY CRUISES 956-761-2212 CAPTAIN BRYAN RAY FISHING ADVENTURES 956-433-6469 CAPTAIN DAVID LEAL’S FISHING GUIDE 956-499-4852 CAPTAIN ELLIOTT FISHING CHARTERS 956-574-4232 CAPTAIN GUS’S SALTWATER ADVENTURES 719-440-3306 CAPTAIN LEE ALVAREZ’ SOUTH PADRE FISHING CHARTERS 956-330-8654 CAPTAIN MARK GUILLOT’S FISHING GUIDE SERVICE 956-299-3900
DRIFTWOOD LANDING 956-433-5555 DUNKIN GUIDE SYSTEMS 956-873-3850 ISLA TOURS 956-761-4752 LONE STAR CHARTERS 956-346-2736 OSPREY CRUISES 956-761-6655
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND FISHING CHARTERS 956-376-7921 SOUTH TEXAS FLY FISHING CO 956-434-1422 SPI EXCURSIONS 888-709-8283 SPI FISH KILLER CHARTERS 956-792-1316 TEXAS RED FISH ADVENTURES 956-245-8379 TIERRA Y MAR OUTFITTERS 830-755-2376 TIP O’TEXAS GUIDE SERVICE 956-243-1465
PARROT EYES WATERSPORTS 956-761-9457
TODDS SPORTSFISHING SERVICE 956-299-0444
PLAYIN HOOKY FISHING CHARTERS 956-639-6604
TRITOON CHARTERS 956-371-5460
When the summer heats up, it’s time to get out on the water, and South Padre Island is a top destination for watersports. Whether you’re looking to move fast, go high, or take your time, the waves of the Gulf of Mexico or the tranquil waters of the Laguna Madre Bay have just what you’re looking for. Trying new water sports has never been easier, with companies across the island offering rentals and lessons for various watersports.
If speed is your thing Sunshine, saltwater, and the wind in your face. Nothing says adventure like the speed of a jet ski on the Gulf of Mexico. Bring someone along, or go solo. Or, gather your friends and family for a high-octane adventure on the back of a colorful banana boat. Hang on tight as you’re pulled around scenic Laguna Madre Bay by a highspeed wave runner.
If you want to reach new heights Parasailing will have you flying hundreds of feet in the air with incredible views of the Gulf, the Laguna Madre Bay, and South Padre Island. No skills are required; just enjoy the ride! If you’re an adrenaline junky, you might enjoy zipping across the water at high speeds and being lifted into the air with the power of the wind on a kiteboard. Thanks to steady, year-round breezes, the island provides the ideal kiteboarding conditions, whether our a newbie or an expert. Most rentals and lessons are offered in the calmer waters of the bay, but pros can hit the Gulf side for big waves and even bigger thrills.
If you’re here to take it slow and easy The clear, quiet, shallow waters of Laguna Madre Bay are ideal for stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) - especially for those newer to the sport - and you’re sure to spot all kinds of fascinating marine life on your trip. Most SUP tours and rentals are available bayside, but more experienced riders can head to the Gulf of Mexico to tackle more challenging waves. Book an afternoon of sailing on a catamaran for the ultimate in slow and easy. Relax on deck as the captain cruises along the Bay and depending on which tour you book, snorkeling or sunset dinner cruises are available.
RENTAL GUIDE AMERICAN DIVING 956-761-2030 33256 STATE PARK RD. 100, SUITE 104, SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
JOURNEY WATER SPORTS (956) 433-5553 5717 PADRE BLVD., SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
BREAKAWAY CRUISES PARROT EYES WATERSPORTS 956-761-2212 956-761-9457 OR 956-459-4808 580 33384 STATE PARK RD. STE. 100, SOUTH 1 PADRE BLVD, SOUTH PADRE ISLAND PADRE ISLAND CAPTAIN MURPHY'S ISLA TOURS 956-761-4752 33256 STATE PARK RD. 100, SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
SAILING CHARTERS AND SAILBOAT RIDES 956-312-3304 SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
DOLPHIN WATCH HEADQUARTERS 956-761-4243 33256 STATE PARK RD. 100, SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
SAND CASTLE LESSONS 956-433-9948 310 PADRE BLVD., SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
DUCK HUNTING TRIPS BY BLAST TO CAST GUIDE SERVICE 956-243-0039 211 W. SWORDFISH, SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
SONNY'S BEACH SERVICE 956-761-5556 310 S. PADRE BLVD., SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
SOUTHERN WAVE SAILING CHARTERS SPI FUN RENTAL & ISLAND SURF RENTAL OF SOUTH PADRE ISLAND (956) 761-9999 956-772-7245 205 W. PALM ST., SOUTH PADRE ISLAND 1314 PADRE BLVD. #A, SOUTH PADRE ISLAND SOUTH PADRE ISLAND WATER SPORTS 956-299-9463 5709 A PADRE BLVD., SOUTH PADRE ISLAND SOUTH PADRE SURF COMPANY 956-772-7272 1 BAIT SHOP RD., ISLA BLANCA PARK, SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
SPI WATER RENTALS (956) 970-2628 2401B LAGUNA BLVD., SOUTH PADRE ISLAND SURFBOARD RENTALS 956-772-7272 1 BAIT SHOP RD., ISLA BLANCA PARK, SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
SPI EXCURSIONS 888-709-8283 204 PALM ST., SOUTH PADRE ISLAND
with Vicki Chrysler Hinojosa
SUNDAY @ 10:30am
NBC 23 KVEO & SPECTRUM Chn 8
For more information on being a guest on our TV show text / call Vicki
@Texas Outdoor Lifestyles TV Show on NBC 23 KVEO at 10:30am every Sunday
by the water?
AND LUNCH OR DINNER
SEVEN DAYS A WEEK PICK-UP OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO ENJOY A FRESH MEAL ON THE BEACH OR AT HOME!
(956) 772-7256 www. LoboDelMar.com 204 Palm St. South Padre Island
ISLAND MUST SEE
THERE’S NOTHING SLOW ABOUT SEA TURTLE, INC. By Dr. Kimberly Selber
SEA TURTLE, INC.
Everything about Wendy Knight is fast. She talks fast, moves fast, and expects the rest of us to keep up. The twoyear veteran chief executive officer of Sea Turtle, Inc. is focused on the future.
Wendy Knight, STI Chief Excecutive Officer and Mark Grant, Spouse and STI volunteer
“We [Sea Turtle, Inc.] evolved from a scrappy backyard rescue effort over 40 years ago,” Knight said. “Today, we are working to break ground on the single largest sea turtle hospital in the world. The new facility will be the only one of its kind with a CT scanner
and a research lab fully dedicated to sea turtles.” With the credentials, experience, and the innovation to solve problems, Sea Turtle, Inc. is a pioneer and leader in the field. “We’re walking fast. We’re helping others walk fast, too,” Knight stated. “There are lots of other rescue centers around the world, but most are where we were 40 years ago. Now, we want to help them. We want to do more.”
SUMMER SOCIALIFE 35
ISLAND MUST SEE
ALLISON’S STORY SEA TURTLE, INC.
When she arrived
Allison, an Atlantic Green sea turtle, is a true example that illustrates what Sea Turtle, Inc. has learned and is turning out to the world. In 2005, Allison, who fit in the palm of your hand, was likely attacked by a shark, leaving her with only one flipper. Rescued and rehabilitated at Sea Turtle, Inc., Allison became a special patient. With only one flipper, the tiny patient was unreleasable and had to live in a shallow tank and be hand-fed. “She couldn’t dive for food or surface for air by herself,” Knight recalled. An intern wondered if they could make a prosthetic for Allison to help her be more self-sufficient.
What developed from that first musing was a removable prosthetic, a titanium fin.
“Allison can now do what other turtles can do; it just looks different. She is differently-abled,” Knight reflected. And now, in collaboration with The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Noe Vargas and his senior design students, along with a multidisciplinary team of UTRGV students belonging to the Engineering Without Borders
Current day Allison
organization, from both engineering and the sciences are tackling improving Allison’s prosthetic. They are developing prototype concepts to explore new design options for Allison and others like her through an engineering analysis using Computer Fluid Dynamics to improve the fin swimming performance. “Imagine, possibly 3D printing a customized prosthetic and shipping it out within days,” Knight said. “This is a game-changer for us. But it is not about the benefit of having the technology; it is the benefit of giving it away and helping others.”
SEA TURTLE, INC.
MUST SEE Visit Sea Turtle Inc. at South Padre Island
THE PAST TEN YEARS
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Rehabilitated 593 Sea Turtles
With your help, we continue to do the work of protecting, rescuing, and rehabilitating sea turtles. You can contribute to the direct costs of medical care, food, vitamins, and surgery for our residents and patients in a number of ways.
Protected 655 nesting females Released 49,705 baby hatchlings into the Gulf of Mexico Treated 7,438 cold-stunned turtles Average 250,000 visitors a year Patrol, on average, 34,000 miles per year Patrol, on average, 3,785 hours Patients are at the hospital, on average, 76 days before they are healthy enough to release
Ceremonial adoption: Hatchlings, Nests, Patients, or Residents ($30 - $180) Direct tax-deductible donation Donation to our Capital Campaign to renovate our facility (sponsorships available)
THE FUN FINDER
DOLPHIN WATCHING TOUR GUIDE
South Padre Island is home to one of the most beloved sea creatures, the dolphin. Riding the waves, leaping in the air, or chattering at tourists, large pods of bottlenose and spinner dolphins make their home in the waters around South Padre year-round. Very social and playful mammals, bottlenose dolphins form friendships that last decades, hunting, mating, and protecting each other. They like to surf in the waves and wakes of boats and swim through self-made bubble rings. While spinner dolphins are
well known for leaping from the water and spinning up to seven times in the air before falling back into the sea. You’ll find a wide variety of dolphin tours leaving from the island, with the most popular being morning and afternoon cruises that last between 1.5 and two hours. There are also smaller eco-tours available, where you’ll learn more about dolphins and other sea creatures that make their home in the Gulf. Hop aboard one of these SPI dolphin tours that’s just right for you.
Breakaway Cruises 956-761-2212 33384 State Park Rd. #100, South Padre Island
Dolphin Watch Headquarters 956-761-4243 33256 State Park Rd. 100, South Padre Island
Sailing Charters and Sailboat Rides 956-312-3304 South Padre Island
Captain Murphy's Isla Tours 956-761-4752 33256 State Park Rd., #100, South Padre Island
Parrot Eyes Watersports 956-761-9457 or 956-459-4808 1 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island
Sea Life Eco-tour and Dolphin Watch Cruise 956-761-6655 Pirate’s Landing in Port Isabel
Sonny's Beach Service 956-761-5556 or 956-572-3529 SPI Excursions 888-709-8283 204 W. Palm St. South Padre Island
ISLAND MUST SEE
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND BIRDING & NATURE CENTER ALLIGATORS AND BUTTERFLIES AND BIRDS OH MY! At the southern tip of the world’s longest barrier island, South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center brings you up close and personal with inhabitants of this wildlife sanctuary. “Every month is different,” states naturalist/educator Javi Gonzalez. “Throughout the year, visitors can see 70-80 different species of birds who live or migrate through the Island.” South Padre Island is a crucial first landfall for birds making a difficult 200 miles cross-Gulf migration from Southern Mexico and northern Central America. Especially after a spring storm, wooded lots of the island abound with a kaleidoscope of warblers,
tanagers, orioles, and thrushes. Wetlands harbor a variety of shorebirds and waterfowl, while endangered species such as the Brown Pelican, Piping Plover, and Peregrine Falcon may also be found here. Birds aren’t the only species you’ll find at the center. Depending on when you visit, the air may be filled with a variety of butterflies or dragonflies, creating a beautiful symphony of color and peace. Along with migratory and island birds, visitors can also see alligators, snakes, and tortoises. The center is the permanent home to Big Padre, a 12.5’ alligator, along with over 50 juvenile gators who will be rehomed as they
grow. Daily “Gator Talks” educate visitors on alligator biology and the alligator sanctuary.
A Unique Physical Environment On its 50 acres near the convention center, one can see dune meadows, salt marsh, intertidal flats, and thickets of native shrubs and trees that are irresistible to migrating birds in their season. “This is a very unique place,” Gonzalez reflects. “We have both saltwater and freshwater because of the treatment plant. This makes for a very rare and rich wildlife environment.”
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND BIRDING & NATURE CENTER 6801 Padre Boulevard www.SPIBirding.com
NATURALIST/EDUCATOR JAVI GONZALEZ
3300+ Feet of Boardwalk Five-Story Viewing Tower Alligator Sanctuary With 43 acres of wetlands and 3,300 feet of boardwalk, visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of their surroundings. “Take a stroll out to the bird blind over the Laguna Madre,” Gonzalez recommends. “The water is clear, and you can see fish and crabs along with a variety of birds.” “Nature is a way to release tension,” Gonzalez states. “The center is very peaceful and allows visitors to slow down and enjoy the natural world around them.” Take time to visit the South Padre Birding & Nature Center, and Alligator Sanctuary on your visit to South Padre Island. The center is open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM and is located at 6801 Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island. Visit SPIBirding. com for more information on tours and events.
awaken the artist within
AT THE ART BUSINESS INCUBATOR
art gallery art classes art events art studios 2500 PADRE BLVD SUITE 1, SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TX WWW.ABISPI.COM | (956)-433-8097 |
OUT AND ABOUT
L IV E M
Turn it up! Bar Louie at Marriott Courtyard South Padre Island 6700 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island 956-433-2098
Laguna Bob Coral Reef Lounge
2401 Laguna Blvd., South Padre Island 956-433-5499
5301 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island (956) 761-1813
Coconut Jack's SPI 2301 Laguna Blvd., South Padre Island 956-761-4218
C I S U M
Louie's Backyard 2305 Laguna Blvd., South Padre Island 956-761-6406
Lobo del Mar 204 Palm St, South Padre Island 956-772-7256
LongBoard Bar and Grill 205 W Palm St., South Padre Island (956) 772-7022
Wanna Wanna Beach Bar & Grill 5100 Gulf Blvd., South Padre Island 956-761-7600
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND ENVIRONMENT
RGV REEF HABITAT Could save the planet By Dr. Kimberly Selber
Manmade reefs are not a new concept.
Why Is The RGV Reef Important?
History tells us that during the First Punic War (way back in the 3rd century BCE), the Romans built a reef across the mouth of the Carthaginian harbor in Sicily to trap enemy ships. And no later than the 17th century, artificial reefs were used in Japan to grow kelp. While the RGV REEF, established in 2016, was not created to trap pirate ships, it was designed to keep an enemy at bay—the decline of habitat.
Founded in 2015, Friends of RGV REEF, a 501c3 nonprofit, was created to curtail the decline in marine life on South Padre Island. The primary culprit for this decline was habitat loss. “We knew we had a problem,” said Gary Glick, president of RGV REEF, “but we needed partners who could help us find solutions.”
The RGV REEF, located 12 miles north of the South Padre Island jetties and covering 1,650 acres, is by far the largest and most complex reef off the Texas coast. Now, six years after the initial establishment of the RGV REEF, new and exciting research is taking place.
They found the perfect partner in Richard Kline, Ph.D. Professor, School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. “Dr. Kline quickly noticed that we had no nursery environment, no babies,” said Glick. Through column testing, Kline established that there was no Red Snapper in the waters where the proposed reef would be located.
Build it, and they will come Eighteen months after the first stage of the reef was built, the fish population had exploded from zero to at least 250,000 and has continued to grow annually at this rate throughout the additional phases of construction. “If we can get it right [habitat] for the Red Snapper, we’ll get it right for other marine life,” stated Kline. This includes providing critical food sources for the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles that make their nests on the beaches of South Padre Island. Recreational fishing has also experienced a resurgence. “We’re already seeing an increase in recreational fishing in the area,” reflected Glick. “Easily ten times more fishing boats are going out annually.”
So how do you build a reef? The RGV Reef is primarily comprised of recycled concrete, cinder blocks, box culverts, and steel-hulled (cleaned and stripped) sunken vessels. Flat plane material is essential for algae, barnacles, and other microscopic sea life to attach to. Over the past six years, materials have been built up in grades of low, medium, and high relief to provide shelter (hiding places) for various sizes of fish. In 2021, over 450 cables spools weighing 450, 5500, and 25,000 lbs. each were installed; 17 of them are two stories tall.
Friends need friends Establishing the RGV Reef comes at a tremendous economic expense. RGV Reef was supposed to take decades to finish and cost $20 million. This was predicated on the standard Reefing contracts through the state or the federal government. Dale Shively, with Texas Parks and Wildlife and a leader in
establishing artificial reefs along the Texas coast, told Glick to round up stakeholders and partners. So he did. Friends of RGV Reef secured donated professional services, donated equipment, donated management, and donated site prep. “The majority of our material is recycled concrete railroad ties from the BNSF Railroad, with additions of donated broken concrete from local contractors, mainly Foremost Paving,” said Glick. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway donated 78,000 concrete rail ties and transported them at their own expense from Colorado, Wyoming, and the Pacific Northwest. These ties formed the base of the reef. BNSF has continued to provide RGV REEF with materials. The Port of Brownsville has also been a huge supporter of RGV REEF, providing a deep-water frontage and rail siding to allow the transport of the nearly 46,000,000 lbs. of primarily recycled concrete and steel hull ships at an economical price.
From construction to research With the reef currently 75% complete, new scientific questions are being raised. Primarily, can the reef combat climate change? With a $250,000 Fueling Futures grant from Enbridges, Inc., Dr. Kline will begin carbon sequestration research. “The research we are conducting here will fill important gaps in our knowledge regarding carbon sequestration in the marine environment and will be the first of its kind in Texas,” said Kline.
SUMMER SOCIALIFE 49
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND ENVIRONMENT
It is believed reefs, both natural and artificial, capture and store carbon (an act of carbon sequestration) and can assist in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2). “It’s suspected that artificial reefs can hold a substantial amount of carbon biomass,” said Kline. “It’s truly exciting to believe this underwater project [RGV REEF], which has already provided substantial habitat for reef fishers, could also be beneficial in reducing the carbon footprint of humans.”
“We are embarking on another important mission —this one to see if what we’re doing here int eh waters of the Gulf of Mexico could one day directly benefit all Texans on land and even lead to a better world for all people,” mused Glick. What started as a dream to keep fishing alive for future generations at South Padre Island has grown into a significant cause, one that could have global effects for generations to come.
2021 UT System SmartBook
DECADES OF SELLING PARADISE Spring break was done a little differently in the 1970s. College kids from around the country would spill out of charter buses in bikinis and cowboy boots ready for fun in the sun on
South Padre Island. The rest of the year, the island was a sleepy scene with untouched sand dunes as far as the eye could see. It probably looked a lot like what Father Nicolas Balli, a Catholic priest, who owned the island in the early 1900s saw- except for a few palm trees Troy Giles was busy planting on each available lot for sale. This fun-loving realtor loved the island and Saturday mornings were especially exciting to him. Troy sprang out of bed and headed to the office to review the corkboard filled with 3x5 index cards. Red, green, and blue pushpins indicated which properties were still available to be sold. “Movers and shakers” of the Rio Grande Valley were on the beach for the weekend and ready to throw some money around. Over the years, Troy and his experienced realtors developed and sold developments up and down the island including; The Villas of South Padre, Las Marinas, Las Villas, Las Velas, and countless other projects. He even had a hand in co-developing the Boardwalk Condominium Yacht Club with pal, Paul Veale, Jr. Working hand in hand with builders, developers, and investors on South Padre Island, Troy Giles Realty became the leader in real estate development throughout the island’s lifetime. His firm can now handle any real estate transaction, whether it's the sale of a two-bedroom/two-bathroom condo or the sale of a massive tract of beachfront property primed for big development. This well of knowledge helps Troy Giles Realty assist clients in making the best real estate decisions possible. Recently, Elon Musk made a huge investment in the area by creating SpaceX. Now beachgoers can get a tan while watching rockets shoot into space just a few miles away. The island is abuzz with big dreams and big plans for the future and investors from all over the world are taking serious notice of the island.
South Padre Island’s real estate inventory used to last for over a year. Today, inventory only stays on the market for a little over a month! So, Troy decided to recruit some partners. Will Greenwood knew the Island’s potential. Will grew up on the island as a child and came back to SPI for an internship to work with Troy and gain a good grasp on HOA Management, and the SPI real estate market. He currently manages over 170 vacation rental properties on the island and works closely with real estate investors looking for income-producing properties on SPI. Looking toward to the future, Will and Troy became TGR Partners in January 2021, along with Louie Tijerina-- the new principal broker of the long-established real estate agency. Louie Tijerina, a 4th generation Brownsville native graduated from Texas Christian University and began working with a real estate developer in Dallas, Texas. 2020 led him back home to his family in Brownsville. In July, he connected with Troy Giles, and together they found projects to work on. Each partner brings something different to the TGR table but, together they have it all-- an amazing team of experienced realtors and brokers, over 50 years of experience in SPI real estate sales, property management, rental management, real estate development, and a smart, experienced professional staff. Troy Giles Realty is a truly local office and buyers and sellers can be sure when they call Troy Giles Realty, they will be dealing with an experienced realtor who knows the market. These top producing agents have earned the confidence of their clients and loyally represent buyers and sellers on residential and commercial transactions on South Padre Island, Port Isabel, and Laguna Vista areas. Melissa Clark has been the office manager for Troy Giles Realty for 18 years. She also has an active real estate license, and is always available to assist buyers and sellers, and is a key person to the success of Troy Giles Realty. Real estate agent, Glenda George, moved to South Padre Island from Yorkville, Illinois in 2013. As a native of the Rio Grande Valley, Glenda was ready to leave the cold and snow of the Midwest and return to where her childhood memories brought her the most happiness-- the sun and the sand on South Padre Island. Glenda is a top performing agent on SPI and currently serves on the South Padre Island Board of Realtors. Rudy Gonzalez Jr. is a name you probably feel like you’ve heard before and you probably have! Rudy was a renowned high school football coach across the Rio Grande Valley for 31 years and has been involved with real estate since 1994. He’s the perfect coach to have on your team to help you find your island dream home. Karen Moore, a Texas REALTOR since 1994 has been with Troy Giles Realty for 25 years. She has had a lifelong love for serving her community. Currently she is the Vice President of the SPI Community Foundation and is an advisory board member of the Historic Museum of SPI. Arnie Crenin, originally from Chicago, Illinois, has prepared meals for US Presidents, governors, senators, as well as Kings, Queens, Princesses, Sheiks. He’s spent 25 years in the hospitality business and has opened several well-known restaurants in hotels throughout the country. Arnie owns and operates Coastal Lifestyles, a high end luxury vacation rental company on South Padre Island. Mundo Laguera became an island resident in 1981 after vacationing on the island since the 70’s when his grandfather built a home on South Padre. After studying Marine Biology he became one of the first SCUBA Dive Masters and instructors on South Padre Island, worked in beach rentals, and began selling timeshares at Saida Royale’s Beach and Tennis Club before he made the jump to real estate. Mundo has been selling real estate on South Padre Island for the past 28 years and is one of the most experienced realtors you will find. Looking to the future, Troy Giles Realty is expertly equipped to be a big part of the growth on South Padre Island, which will naturally include the development of the north portion of the island. There are miles of beautiful beachfront property available for developers, investors, and families to make their mark, and TGR will be the go-to office to guide them in the right direction. As a boutique company, they can be nimble and adapt to the island’s economic rhythm, unlike other shops. Troy Giles Realty is ready to help buyers and sellers navigate the market and ride the real estate wave that South Padre Island will surely see in its next 50-year adventure.
Serving the South Padre Island & Laguna Madre Area Since 1973
Experience the Premier Hotel in McAllen Relax in one of our 150 guest suites, enjoy a nightly cocktail reception and made-to-order omelets every morning. Indulge in fresh mesquite-fired Tex-Mex at our in-house On the Border Cantina & Grill. Energize at our in-house cafe Proudly Serving Starbucks Coffee. Get the complete McAllen experience at Embassy Suites, located only steps from dozens of popular stores, McAllen Perfoming Arts Center, and McAllen Convention Center. Embassy Suites by Hilton McAllen Convention Center 800 Convention Center Blvd. McAllen, Texas 78501 (956) 688-8329 embassymcallen.com McAllen Performing Arts Center
H O S P I TA L I T Y
DESTINATION: CONVENIENCE Located at McAllen Convention Center & Palms Crossing, and only steps from plenty of shopping and dining, Home2 Suites by Hilton McAllen is where convenience is key. Spacious, pet-friendly suites with full kitchens and complimentary hot breakfast every morning, and serene outdoor spaces make Home2 Suites the best option for a convenient and relaxing escape in McAllen.
Home2 Suites by Hilton 525 S. Ware Rd., McAllen, Texas 78501 (956) 391-2964 • home2mcallen.com
H O S P I TA L I T Y
THINGS TO DO
Lighting up the Skyline
SPI Summer Fireworks
There’s no better way to end your day
Summer Weekend Fireworks
of summer fun and sun on South Padre Island than to watch fireworks reflect off the Laguna Madre or the Gulf of Mexico.
Head to the pier behind the Courtyard by Marriot and Clayton’s Beach Bar & Grill for this nighttime extravaganza, which kicks off at 9:15 PM every Friday and Saturday through Labor Day Weekend. Watch as the sky lights up with dazzling bursts of color, all beautifully reflected off the waves, and enjoy live music, drinks, and food options galore. And best of all, this family-friendly event is entirely free.
Summer Fireworks Over the Bay After you’ve enjoy the beautiful sunset over the Laguna Madre, treat yourself to the fireworks from Louie’s Backyard every Tuesday at 9:15 PM. Summer Fireworks over the Beach Thursdays are for fireworks over the Gulf from the Isla Grand Beach Resort’s Sandbar Courtyard. The show starts at 9:15 PM.
H O S P I TA L I T Y
NOW OPEN IN
HOTEL HIGHLIGHTS • Over 180 Guest Suites. • Over 15,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space. • Hot breakfast with omelet station included. • Complimentary cocktail reception every night. • In-House Starbucks Coffee. • In-House Bar Louie. • Adjacent to Round Rock Outlets and steps away from dozens of popular stores. • Earn & Redeem valuable Hilton Honors rewards points.
Embassy Suites by Hilton • 270 Bass Pro Drive, Round Rock, Texas 78665 • (512) 308-3883 • embassyroundrock.com
ISLAND MUST SEE
BLAST OFF! SpaceX Mission to Mars Isla Blanca Park is the place to be By Dr. Kimberly Selber + Photography by Carlos Nuñez
If you’re a space enthusiast, you can grab a front-row seat for the next Starbase SpaceX launch right here at South Padre Island. With the Boca Chica launch site just across the bay, you have a perfect view of the towering SpaceX rockets and an unobstructed view on launch days from Isla Blanca Park or many of our beachside hotels.
If you’re visiting for a launch, allow three to four days for your trip. Dates and times notoriously change due to weather and technical issues.
Starbase is where some of the most advanced rockets are tested for everything from near orbital satellite deployments to the Mars mission. There are no tours of Starbase, but on non-launch days you can drive, staying on the public road, past the Starship rockets— something you can’t do at other launch sites.
There are many things to do on the Island while waiting on a launch, enjoy the sun, surf, and sunsets.
You can learn more on the SpaceX website (SpaceX. com) as well as tracking the Mars exploration program at NASA’s (Mars.NASA.gov)
READY TO ROCK & ROLL Cameron County Amphitheater and Events Center at Isla Blanca Park By Dr. Kimberly Selber
The warm breeze blows in off the sparkling Gulf of Mexico, complimenting the soundtrack of waves crashing upon the shore. This is the backdrop for the new Cameron County Amphitheater and Events Center at the Parks System’s “crown jewel,” Isla Blanca Park. “This is a magical environment to host concerts, weddings, or other events,” stated Raul Garcia, Director of Marketing and Management of County Venues. “You’re surrounded by paradise.” The venue officially opened on October 5, 2021, with the band Sublime performing to a sellout crowd. But by March 13, 2020, the music was silenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Now we
are open at full capacity and following all safety protocols,” said Garcia. “We have some amazing musical groups booked and some big names in the works for next year.” Concerts can hold up to 5,000 spectators, and indoors the Event Center can host up to 300 for a seated event. “Everything is state of the art in a very unique setting,” said Garcia with pride. The outdoor theater area features unobstructed views of SpaceX launches, too.
Visit: cameroncountyvenues.com for upcoming concerts or to book your next seaside event.
Discover South Padre Island's One-of-a-kind Experience!
The Event Center & Amphitheater is a 6,791 square feet of state-of-the-art abundant space located at Isla Blanca Park, which is on the southernmost tip of South Padre Island and is the crown jewel of the Parks system. Whether you are planning a professional, education, or personal event, Cameron County Event Center & Amphitheater is the ideal location for your next occasion.
BROWNSVILLE DRIVING DISTANCE
THE CASSOWARY Conundrum
For 24 years, the Gladys Porter Zoo Bird Department tried to hatch a Southern cassowary chick successfully but was always unsuccessful. But in May of 2021, after trying a multitude of strategies, the cassowary conundrum was resolved. Southern cassowaries are native to northeastern Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. They are large, flightless birds and are classified as ratites. Cassowaries are well-known for the casques on their heads, brilliantly colored faces and necks, powerful kicks, and daggerlike inner clawsv.
In spring of 2021, a young six-yearold male named “Irwin” seemed old enough to give it a try. His intended mate was a mature, 36-year-old female known as “Clementine.” After much research and observation of their behavior, the pair were placed together for a month to provide them with the best possible chance of reproduction. Thankfully, she started laying her eggs. Irwin had seven eggs to incubate, and he proved he was up for the job. On May 20, 2021, our first chick hatched. The whole department was overjoyed at this momentous
occasion. Our excitement increased after the other two chicks hatched over the following week. Heath, Tobin, and Powell are almost a year old now and are continuing to grow. They are now on exhibit next to their parents. We think you will fall in love with them, just as we have. And for us, we are ecstatic that the cassowary conundrum is a thing of the past! Gladys Porter Zoo 500 E. Ringgold St, Brownsville, TX 78520 (956) 546-7187
Conserving Wildlife & Wild Places for over 50 years!
500 E. Ringgold St. Brownsville, TX
(956) 546-7187 | GPZ.ORG
RAISE THE CURTAIN El paseo arts foundation back on stage There is so much to do when you visit the Island, including live theater. Now in its 17th season, the El Paseo Arts Foundation brings concerts, plays, and dance to the South Padre Island community. “We have a major commitment to the arts and art education,” says Jo Ann Evans, Chairperson and founding member of El Paseo. She brings a 40-year-long career of performing and directing to El Paseo. That commitment also includes awarding scholarships to
high school students continuing their education in the arts and offering summer theater camps to fourth through ninth graders. “The arts have always required patrons,” Evans remarked. You can support the El Paseo Arts Foundation by becoming a patron and attending performances. Visit www.ElPaseoArts.org to view upcoming performances or to make a donation.
IF IT’S NOT HERE, IT’S NOT HAPPENING… Send us your event: email@example.com
Drawing 101 Art Business Incubator SPI 4 – 6 PM
3rd Annual Ocean Day Beach Clean-Up Hay Rides, Music, Cookout & Prizes South Padre Island North Beach 10 AM - 4 PM The Cowboy’s Night at the Island Cameron County Amphitheater & Event Center Meet the Players, Games, Music, Food, Rides Gate opens at noon Art Fest: Outdoor Local Art Market Art Business Incubator SPI 12 - 5 PM
Beach Bash Skate Jam John L. Tompkins Park 2 – 5 PM
Introduction to Paper Cutting:Cactus Flower Themed Art Business Incubator SPI 3 - 6 PM
RGV Pride 2022
Cameron County Amphitheater & Event Center 3 PM - Midnight
Metal Stamping Workshop Art Business Incubator SPI 1 - 3 PM
Decorate a Leather Key Chain Art Business Incubator SPI 11 AM – 12 PM
Felipe Estrada - Unmasked Cameron County Amphitheater & Event Center Tickets at Felipepsi.com 6 – 11 PM
Ultimate Beatles Experience with Liverpool Legends Hilton Garden Inn & Suites White Tail Sculpture Workshop Art Business Incubator SPI 11 AM - 1 PM
2nd Annual Red, White, and Beach Cameron County Amphitheater & Event Center Tickets at RedWhiteandBeach. com 7 PM
June 20 - 24
Art Summer Camp Art Business Incubator SPI 1 – 3 PM
Secretto - Profugo y Los Tesoros de Javi Clayton’s Beach Bar & Grill
Fourth of July Fireworks SPI Entertainment District
Billy Currington Clayton’s Beach Bar & Grill 8 PM
Painting & Drawing Workshop Art Business Incubator SPI 2 – 4 PM
Ron Hoover Fishing Tournament Registration and Events SPI Convention Centre 5 PM - 9 PM
Ron Hoover Fishing Tournament Fishing: 6 AM - 2 PM Awards: 5:30 PM - 9 PM
August 27 - 28 Roar by the Shore Air and Space Expo 2022 Beach Resort by Holiday Inn 12 - 4:30 PM
September 5 Labor Day Fireworks South Padre Island Entertainment District
October 1 & 2 Banzai Kon Clayton’s Beach Bar & Grill
October 6 - 9 34th Annual Sandcastle Days Clayton’s Beach Bar & Grill
December 2 SPI Christmas Parade Padre Blvd. (Between Mars & Kingfish St.)
Abstract Painting Workshop Art Business Incubator SPI 5 – 7 PM
August 3 - 7
South Padre Island Entertainment District
82nd Annual Texas International Fishing Tournament SPI Convention Centre TIFT.org for more information
SPI Lighted Board Parade
41st Annual Ladies Kingfish Tournament South Padre Island Convention Center
SUMMER SOCIALIFE 69
Looking for fun this summer? There's a place where shopping is fun, the food scene is ﬁerce, and the festivals are larger than life. I know McAllen, TX. Visit this weekend, so you'll be the one who knows a place.
Book your hotel getaway at visitmcallen.com OR SCAN HERE
See Festival Schedule Shopping, Food & more at EXPLOREMCALLEN.COM
Luxury Shopping & Exclusive Boutiques
MXLAN Art & Music Festival July 27-31 2022 | mxlan.com