Paradise Found

Our journey started at the stable, where dozens of horses of all sizes eyed me under a shaded paddock, waiting for a ride. Nearby, Texas Longhorn cattle came over to say hello and remind me what state I was in. The undulating sand dunes, crashing waves and scrubby sea oats looked nothing like the Texas plains where these cows usually roam.

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Traversing the landscape was effortless by horseback as my guide Chris and I left the South Padre Island Adventure Park and headed north, with nothing but sand in front of us. He said he’d taken large crowds on rides along the beach, but today, a sunny day in February, it was just the two of us, he a very experienced rider, and me, very much a novice on a horse.

We drew attention from beachgoers, who took photos of our majestic steeds traveling along the waterline, brown and black curiosities tromping over the numerous white shells on the beach. Chris said the horses can traverse any terrain a human can on foot, and he was proven correct as we loped over the sizeable dune, a view of the ocean and bay spread out before us.

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The Adventure Park is the last stop on the uninhabited north end of the island before you reach no man’s land, and also offers ziplining and a children’s petting barn. It’s a quick ten-minute diversion from the main part of the island.

The landscape is relatively flat and featureless, but nevertheless beautiful, varying greatly from the ocean to the dunes. The wind and light are momentarily obscured as we dipped into great sand troughs, the horses slowly ambling along. We were the last ride of the day, and as we put the horses in their stable for the night, it was relaxing and enlightening to look back on the beachfront ride, just one of the many special little experiences one can have on South Padre Island.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as Creative Resources Manager for RTX, based in Asheville, NC. You can find him hiking the mountains of Asheville, gardening, traveling, and hanging with his growing family. His favorite RTX exchange destinations are Rangeley, Maine, Lake Tahoe, Banff, Canada, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Cape Cod, and Orange Beach, Alabama. .

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