In Texas: Building Castles on the Sand

Gently but relentlessly, the waves of the Gulf of Mexico pound the powdery white sand of the barrier reef off Texas' coast. The clear green water, and the silt and sand it has deposited over the centuries, created Padre Island, and have made it an increasingly popular vacation paradise. Yet what the waves have given, they are now taking away. Gently but relentlessly, Padre Island seems to be falling into the sea.

Most of the bow-shaped island, stretching 100 miles from the Mexican border to Corpus Christi, is either undeveloped dunes or federally protected national seashore. But at the island's southern tip...

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