Although widely known as a Spring Break destination, South Padre Island is a great little beach resort any time. We go as often as possible.
The island forms a barrier between the Gulf of Mexico and the Laguna Madre, a wide flat bay. The island is amazingly long, and protects much of southern Texas from the direct effects of the ocean waves.
The beach itself, of course, is amazing. I never get tired of walking on it. The sand is very fine, soft, and a light beige/tan color. In the past, there has been trouble with tarballs on the beach from the many oilrigs in the Gulf, but this has not happened in quite a few years.
The sunrises are amazing, the moonrises too! Because the beach faces east, and the island runs North/South, we can sometimes see the sunrise and moonset at the same time. That happened to me just the other day (unfortunately the photographs I took were not up to DT standards, or mine either!).
There is a turtle shelter on the island, as the island beaches attract many sea turtles. Or, they DID, before the animal population was depleted. Now, there are still a few that come, and those are cherished and protected.
There is also the amazing Laguna Madre. This is an incredibly beautiful sheltered bay between the Island and the mainland of Texas. It attracts many birds, some of which are migrating through, but many stay year-round.
SPI is famous for its birds, and birdwatchers from all over the world come to see. I have seen osprey, sandhill cranes, white ibis, roseate spoonbills, brown pelicans, oyster catchers, herons and terns of many varieties, and quite a few different species of seagull. There are also many of the smaller species that I can't identify, although I'm learning! Being around so many different kinds of birds makes me much more interested in learning their "real" names.
Spring Breakers come each year (kinda like the migrating birds!) to play in the sun. There is about 3 weeks when the southern end of the island is filled with energy and youth, all intent on having a good time. While there is plenty of noise and crowds, for the most part people behave. The town spends a great deal of time and money keeping the peace, and it seems to work.
The colors, sights, and sounds of the island bring me a great deal of joy every time I visit. I hope that these photos give you a little taste of the natural beauties to be found, and that you will have a chance to visit South Padre Island soon!