SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Gloria Hinojosa enjoys living the “salty” life on the Island with her family.
Every summer, for more than 10 years, she has enjoyed camping out on the Island for the month of July as a way to celebrate Independence Day.
“The guys go fishing in the morning and then we cook out and we fry the catch,” said Hinojosa, a Santa Rosa resident. “And we eat fish and shrimp as a family together in the evening and wait for the firecrackers to color the night sky with red, white and blue.”
But she said this year’s Independence Day celebration is even more special for the Hinojosas.
It marks her grandson Brandon Galvan’s last summer celebrating Fourth of July as a civilian.
Galvan has chosen the path to defend freedom, just as his uncle and grandfather did by serving in the Marines Corps.
Brandon enlisted in the Marines recently after graduating from Santa Rosa High School and he will ship off to basic training in a month.
“We celebrate Fourth of July because we are passionate supporters of the military,” Hinojosa said. “It’s important to us to be patriotic and to fly our flags.”
The Hinojosa’s have two daughters in the Air Force and a grandson who was recently discharged from the Army.
And since 2002 they have all camped out on the Island to cookout and watch the fireworks blast over the bay as a family.
That was no different yesterday.
“It’s a tradition for us,” Hinojosa said.
South Padre Island Mayor Pro-Tem Dennis Stahl said the Island is packed, but there is still room for more.
“Fourth of July is a great American celebration,” Stahl said. “Come on over because the city fireworks are going to be spectacular.”
He said there will be fireworks shooting into the sky on both sides of the Island near the bay and near Clayton’s Beach Bar and the Hilton Garden Inn.
Stahl also recommended visitors stop by Sea Turtle inc. to learn about the organization that cares for injured sea turtles and releases sea turtle hatchlings into the ocean in the mornings on certain days.
But that is not all that is available for the visitors to enjoy.
Many visitors will be enjoying themselves with family and friends the traditional American way cruising on the Island Boulevard, enjoying the pool, flipping burgers while cooking out, walking the beach and enjoying the local entertainment.
“We are having lots of fun,” said Allen Casey, a Houston resident who was riding a golf cart down the strip with his family. “We are riding, enjoying this beautiful weather and having a blast.”