Port Aransas Adventure

One of the Studio Balcones team members was able to snag some time for a Texas beach get away recently to Port Aransas! A little gem of an Island on the Gulf Coast which experts believed to have began life as a submerged sand bar about 4,500 years ago!

Mustang Island in Port Aransas was first called Wild Horse Island or Mestenos” because of horses that inhabited the island after Spaniards in the 1800’s brought them. The first known human occupants of the island were the Karankawas Indians. Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca was probably the first European to meet the Karankawas in 1528.


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One of the alligators inhabiting the waters at the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center

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Brown Pelicans keeping watch over the boardwalk on a sunny day. Lush with thick vegetation, the coast of Port Aransas features native plants like the Inland Sea Oats speckling the ground in this photo accompanied by Grasswort, Dune Sunflowers as well as some Morning Glory Vines and Milkweed!

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Although Port Aransas only spans 12 miles long, this photo of the Leonabelle Birding Center makes it feel vast and endless!

 ilse on the beach

Beware the Pirates of Port Aransas:

Port Aransas was a location of pirates in the early 19th century. From about 1800 to the early 1820s, the Gulf Coast was a haunt of pirate ships searching for riches. Capt. Jean Lafitte and his buccaneers spent time on the Texas coast; Galveston owed its start to him and Mustang Island was one of his favorite haunts. Capt. Jean Lafitte used Mustang Island as a place to make camp and, according to legend, a place to hide their treasure.

Local lore tells of pirate treasure buried in Port Aransas. The treasure chest is supposedly marked by a Spanish silver dagger. It is believed the dagger is laid on its side with silver spike driven through the hilt, securing the location.


Classic Texas sunset lighting up the sky.

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Ilse’s design background taking shape in the form of shell studded sand castle complete with a moat!

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