We will never forget the images of the pure devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey when it landed on the Texas coast in late August 2017.
Texans feared the worst for their favorite stretches of beach. And, when the water receded, the damage was evident—but so was the resolve of its residents. Hurricane Harvey might have been a category 4 storm, but Texans are a category 5 in resilience. So, here we are, nine months after Harvey paid Texas a visit and the beaches of the Texas Gulf Coast are open for business.
Rockport took one of severest blows of the storm. The town’s a sleepy beach-front community that sits about 30 miles up the coast from Corpus and is the kind of place where you can lose yourself in the peace and tranquility. One of the properties that exudes that sense of peace is the Angel Rose Bed & Breakfast. This B&B just sits a short walk from the marina, fishing dock and Rockport’s main beach. Even though Harvey has left its mark on the town, the beaches have been left unchanged by the storm.
In April, I spent a couple of days in Rockport with Jeff Johnson, an expert fishing guide and the owner of Fly Fish Rockport. I’ve been coming down to the Texas coast since I was a kid yet Jeff introduced me to a side of Rockport I had never seen before. The crystal clear flats that go on for miles are simply breathtaking. It’s clearly a part of Rockport that can’t be taken by any storm. Although Jeff grew up in the mountains of Montana, he transformed his love of fly fishing from the blue ribbon water of the Missouri River to the flats of the Texas Coast on the hunt for redfish. Now Jeff can be found on the water around Rockport over 300 days of the year helping fishing enthusiasts land a redfish on a fly.
As part of the recovery efforts, Rockport has partnered with one of it’s more famous part-time residents, country music legend George Strait. In addition to putting on concerts for Texas Gulf Coast relief, Strait is lending his famous voice to promote Rockport with the song, Back To Bein’ Me which was on his 1988 Album, If you Ain’t Lovin’ You Ain’t Livin’.
Another community hit hard by Harvey was Port Aransas but, like Rockport, the people of Port Aransas share a resilience that is hard to match. With every restaurant and business that opens its doors for business, Port A’s energy mounts and the momentum to rebuild the town grows.
The storm hasn’t slowed down the popular housing developments just south of town, Cinnamon Shore, Palmilla Beach and Sunflower Beach. Cinnamon Shore will have 100% of their units from the rental pool open for business this summer. The next time you come up Route 361 from Corpus, pull into these properties and you’ll get a glimpse of what the future of Port Aransas will look like. The city of Port Aransas sustained more damage than communities to the south of town, but businesses and restaurants are opening each week as the official start of the Texas summer begins on Memorial Day.
What’s the best way to support Rockport, Port Aransas and the many other communities from Corpus to Galveston? Show up this summer and enjoy all the Texas Gulf Coast has to offer.
Cover photo: Beach chair service at Cinnamon Shore. Photo courtesy Port Aransas Tourism Bureau