San Luis Pass

Texas never ceases to amaze me; there are so many liberties afforded the natives that would seem absurd in other places in the developed world. Such was the case when we took a drive west from Jamaica Beach on Galveston Island towards Freeport. Having crossed the toll bridge at the San Luis Pass, we took a speculative turn off the main road down towards the beach that forms the glorious spit of land on the end of Follet’s Island. Amazingly, we found that it was possible to drive on the sandy beach. Driving our SUV down to the water’s edge seemed both discomforting and liberating. Surely taking a combustion vehicle that can leak oil would be at odds with State water quality standards, or indeed any responsible beach conservation measures? Apparently not, but we did park up in a more sensible location to take in the Saturday night atmosphere.

For all that this was a liberating experience, I would prefer to think that this was a one time experience; an aberration that I would not likely repeat. While it is a Texas “right”, that doesn’t mean it is in everyone’s interests to pursue. I prefer to think of such locations as a pristine resources that don’t need the additional pressure of combustion engines to deal with. While the landscape itself won’t reveal this, I do happen to know that the San Luis Pass is a rich source of sand, sitting beneath the waterline; contributing significantly to the local ecosystem and also any beaches that are able to harvest this natural resource.

Wandering around the beach on a summer’s night with fisherman and kids playing ball games was a simple pleasure. However, my biggest thrill came with the ease which the photography opportunities presented themselves. Training my 70-300 mm telephoto on a pair of pelicans, they glided nonchalantly towards a gloriously orange sky, with the sun nestling comfortably above some light, low cloud. As it turns out, these are some of the most satisfying images I have taken on ten or so years. Part of this satisfaction is that the post-processing was effortless, save for some cropping of the composition and chromatic aberrations corrections. It is rare to spend to such little time shooting and processing such satisfying images, but a genuine thrill to do so.


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