By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Spring Break isn’t just big business for the Rio Grande Valley, it’s also big news. Having worked in the media industry for a while now, I’ve covered my fair share of Spring Breaks in the past. And usually, Texas Week is the biggest, best week of all.
It’s during Texas Week — the week when most universities and colleges throughout the state take their break — that the largest beach bacchanals can be found. And back when one particular sandy hot spot carried the name of a certain popular soft drink I was roaming through the crowd with one camera hanging from my shoulder and another clutched in my hand.
I’d already been taking photos of the rap battles and dance competitions that had been taking place on stage. I’d also meandered along the fringes of the crowd at the water’s edge, snapping shots of frat boys playing football in the shallows and gaggles of sorors posing for group photos. But, sometimes in order to get the photo you can’t linger on the outskirts, you’ve got to dive into the din itself. As such, I soon found myself deep in the throng and amid the combined smells of sunscreen, alcohol and less-than-legal clouds of second hand smoke.
Even in the thick of it you could find people gathered together in smaller groups, laughing together, dancing together, playing beach games, etc. As I made my way between a couple of groups the path ahead of me suddenly cleared and I saw something that made me laugh. In front of me stood a young woman with a very patriotic bikini. It was a playful homage to the Texas flag and on the rear of the bikini bottom our state’s infamous motto, “Don’t Mess With Texas” was printed in white block letters. I asked if I could take her photograph and she agreed.
That image recently came to mind since this is Texas Week. And though the week is almost over, Spring Break isn’t done quite yet. The message on that bikini bottom remains relevant.
We’re a welcoming folk here in the Laguna Madre region and there’s almost nothing we love more than sharing our beautiful Island with new people. It’s kind of hard to not shout from the rooftops about just how awesome this place is.
It’s beautiful. It’s warm. The sand is soft and the water is cool. The fish are always biting and the birds sing such a gorgeous chorus in the mornings you hardly need an alarm clock. The sunrises and sunsets alone are daily proof of the existence of the divine.
But, it takes a lot of hard work to keep this place a magical one. And we need your help while you’re here to keep it that way. It doesn’t take much, either.
Help us keep our beaches clean by properly disposing of your trash. Help us keep the traffic on our streets flowing smoothly by obeying directions from traffic officers. Help us keep our residents and other tourists healthy by letting emergency vehicles pass. Help us continue to offer fantastic service by adopting a little Texan lingo; “howdy” and “thanks, y’all” go a long way ’round these parts.
In the end, we hope you will fall in love with our Island, our beaches and our bay just as we have. Just as we continue to do every day. So, y’all enjoy your stay, be safe, have fun and come back soon!
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