Tuesday, November 24, 2009

La Isla Matagorda

One of my favorite places.
Just a short boat trip due east from Port 'O Connor, Texas is Matagorda Island.

(Picture courtesy of http://www.airfields-freeman.com)

Matagorda Island was once a home to an Air Force Training facility labeled as "Matagorda Island Gunnery Range". Built in 1943, the base and training grounds stayed active until the late 1960's until it was deactivated in 1975. Paved with thousands of feet of asphalt and concrete runways, these chains of barrier islands serve as a hidden gem for experienced pilots for many years, giving them the opportunity to land in an area nestled in between white sand dunes after a low-flying tour of Blue-Gulf-of-Mexico-Water.

On the North side of the Big Jetty's sits a smaller branch of the abandoned Air Force Base, Pierce Field. Just like the facility, Pierce Field was closed down in the late 70's and was inherited by private owners

(Picture courtesy of http://www.airfields-freeman.com)

According to George Horn (a pilot for the state of TX who has landed at Pierce Field), the property of this airfield was once used by Deke Slayton & other former astronauts in a private (commercial) space venture in the late 1960s/1970s. Several attempts to launch kerosene/liquid oxygen vehicles were made there, none of which succeeded. The site was also one of the early NASA considerations for a launch site, before they settled on Cape Canaveral.

Today, Pierce Field is owned by 50 or so private residents who, over the last 20 years, have built small beach houses. Secluded from the main land of Texas, this island provides its weekend inhabitants with a quiet retreat. It is a rare thing now days to be the only people on a beach visible for miles but this is one of the many "pluses" of this hidden gem.

It was a weekend full of relaxation, bonfires, shell hunting, fishing and hiding.

La Casa de la Isla
16mm@f/2.8, 1/20, ISO 200
Night time Fishin'
16mm@f/2.8, 1/13, ISO 800
A Favorite
16mm@f/2.8, 1/13, ISO 640
16mm@f/2.8, 1/13, ISO 600
50mm@f/2.8, 1/320, ISO 800
Stole this shot
50mm@f/1.8, 1/60, ISO 1250
Glowing Silhouette
5omm@f/1.8, 1/25, ISO 1250
Bonfire Smile
50mm@f/1.8, 1/50, ISO 1250
Silhouette #2
50mm@f/1.8, 1/25, ISO 1250


  1. very nice Hillary. Please post your camera settings as well, that would be a nice touch.

  2. EXIF data is now posted, will try to get them all up for every blog entry!