Enjoying it All

Is there anything prettier than a desert sunset? Or how about the beautiful fall colors in the Rocky Mountains?  And then there’s the dawning of a new day as the sunrises over the Gulf of Mexico.Gulf Coast

I love fantastic scenery, and all these various places are pretty special in their own unique way. I’m grateful I don’t have to choose a favorite, at least for the time being.  With my little house on wheels, I get to change up the scenery as often or as little as I like.

Great Blue HeronAs I was watching the sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico this morning, I began wondering, “Could I live here”?  Sure, I’m living here for two months, but could I live here longer? You know, own a sticks and bricks house here!

Al and I know that some day, we’d like to find a home base. That doesn’t mean we’d stop RVing or stop traveling …. it just means, we’d have a place to return to and regroup.

Our original plan all along was to move into the RV full-time for a year or two until we found “that place”, that special somewhere.  And here we are, four years later and no closer to finding that place.  In reality, I’m not sure we’ve looked very hard 😉 This mobile lifestyle can be addicting.  It allows us the opportunity to enjoy a multitude of diverse landscapes.  We get to enjoy it all.

Fulton Beach Texas

Hmm, not a bad neighborhood … But no mountain views around here!

I love visiting the Texas Gulf Coast, but I already know come the end of February I will be Texas Shore birdsready to move on.  I’ll want to see some mountains, some red rocks, and of course see my children.

Thus, the Texas Gulf Coast will remain a favorite place to visit, but not a place I’d want to live full-time.

Perhaps if one of my children were to move to Texas … perhaps then, I’d change my mind.

So what do I like about the Texas Gulf Coast? First and foremost is the wildlife, as in the birds.  I love the shore birds and can watch and observe them for hours and quite often do.

seagulls

shore birds

Birds are definitely a challenge to photograph.  When I do manage to snap that special shot, I get super excited.  That excitement is usually short lived once the photo is uploaded onto the computer.  Disappointment is followed by the desire to get back out into the field and see if I can do a better job and capture a clear image.

No two days are the same.  I can never count on the birds being in the same spot.  I know, how rude of them not to leave breadcrumbs for me!

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Cormorant

I spend most every morning in search of photographic opportunities.  It’s the perfect excuse for me to get out of the RV and get in some exercise …. walk or ride my bicycle.  I do have to drive to some places though.  There’s no beach near our RV park.

Rockport Beach

Rockport Beach, Texas

When the birds are being illusive near camp, I’ll hop in the truck and go in search.  I have some favorite areas I like to scope out.  When all else fails, I’ll walk the beach looking for seashells.  There’s always an interesting discovery to be made, or at the very least, a photo-op.Rockport Beach

This is my first year strolling the Rockport Beach.  It’s a fee use area if you choose to drive in toward the picnic area and pavilions.  I’ve been parking near the blue crab or marina and walking along the waters edge.  It’s a lovely beach and a great way to get in those exercise steps.Blue Crab

If you’d like a bit more information on the area, you can always check out some of my egretposts from previous years or feel free to contact me.

Here’s a post I did about camping options along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Since this is a snowbirders haven, we always manage to connect with fellow full-time RVer’s. Here’s a post on one such rendezvous.

There’s also a bunch of museums and aquariums in the area worth visiting.  Here’s the post about us visiting an aircraft carrier. (all colored text is linked)

More bird photos forthcoming …. you’ve been warned!

Texas: A Historical Atlas

 

Texas BBQ: Meat, Smoke & Love

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104 thoughts on “Enjoying it All

  1. Pingback: Things to do in Rockport | Live Laugh RV

  2. Amazing photos, Ingrid. The birdlife there is so abundant. I’m not surprised that you’re enraptured with the Texas Gulf Coast. Decisions, decisions. You’ll know when the time is right to settle somewhere. In the meantime, enjoy your wanderings. xx

  3. I can certainly understand why you are not ready for a house. It is nice to enjoy the beauty around you and then head off to discover and another spot in our wonderful country.

  4. The photos are absolutely stunning! I can very much imagine that a mobile lifestyle can be addictive 🙂

  5. I always love seeing your fabulous bird photos. Glad you are enjoying your travels so much that you’re content to still forego the home base option. We keep throwing around ideas for ourselves when Hubby retires, and right now, I think we would still want to have a home base somewhere, even if it is a very small house or condo. But, it’s all just talk for now anyway… fun to think about!

    • I would highly recommend a little home base. I know there are full-timers out there that don’t miss having a place to return to, but I’m not one. With that said, I am grateful for this wonderful journey I’ve been on and my search for home base shall continue. I do love it along the coast but after awhile I start missing the desert … what’s a gal to do LOL.

  6. Ingrid, your photography is just beautiful. You’ve probably shared this information before, but what type of camera do you use? My dear Nikon is in “auto focus failure” and I am looking to replace it. 🙂 Your story resonates with ours. One year has turned into three for us and we’ve seen some amazing places that we could imagine calling home but wait… we do! For as long as we are parked, it is home and then on to other amazing scenery. Thanks for sharing the information on the Texas Gulf Coast. We’ll be heading that way one day!

    • Awe, thank you. I have a whole page devoted to “cameras” … located to the right of the “about us” tab just under the header photo. It’s no fun when our camera gear misbehaves!
      It is amazing how every time I think I’m ready to pull out the check book for a property, I can’t seem to make the commitment. My husband just shakes his head and says, “happy wife, happy life” and wants me to be happy. He’s easy go and will roll with the flow, but he too hasn’t found “that place” 😊

  7. Glad to read you are doing well and exploring South Texas – it is beautiful in that area and very peaceful. I agree with Larry, you always get the best bird photos. Take care. Peace.

    • Nice to hear from you Clay. As you well know, the Texas Gulf Coast has a lot to offer and the weather this year has been fantastic. We’re actually spending Jan AND Feb here this year. Best wishes to you!

  8. Two months is about the amount of time I like in a place as well. After that, I am ready to get on the road again and continue exploring. After two years of looking for “the place” we finally settled on a temporary home base in Asia for a while.. that being Southern Sri Lanka. After two months there we are back on the road currently in Malaysia and Indonesia.. but it is kinda nice to know I DO have a real closet somewhere, other than my little portable suitcase I have with me.

    Beautiful scenery, photography… Love the shots of Lockport Beach. Wow. Gorgeous.

    We are bird lovers as well.. but had not much idea about the Texas coast. We have seen probably the most birds in India at the bird park and as well in Sri Lanka in Northern Jaffna. Oh and in Cuba as well, there were some wonderful swamp like areas chockfull of birds.

    Peta

    • Wow! Sounds like you are on quite the adventure. I think I’d wear out a camera or two visiting all those places. Some locations do call for a 30-60 day stay to really immerse oneself and learn an area. Other places, 2 nights is enough 😆 Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  9. I agree, it’s wonderful to not have to choose — there are so many beautiful places in this country! We still have our home in southern Oregon, but we’re not ready to settle down yet. There’s still so much to see! Wonderful bird photos — especially the spoonbills. They’re always irresistible.

    • Oh my goodness Laurel, the weather and birding this year has been wonderful. The whooping cranes have been a bit illusive, but other birds have made up for their absence. I sometimes wonder if we had kept our house and rented it out if I would still talk of a ‘home base’. But in our case, we knew we didn’t want to stay or return to southern Colorado. Thus, no regrets and a fun meandering search shall continue.

  10. You make Texas seem so appealing, but we’re still in love with our desert life and the view of the Superstition mountains. It’s hard to find it all in one place and that’s the best part of the RV life. I keep hoping the kids win and you land somewhere in Arizona, but that’s just selfish since I’d like to have you closer to us as well. Time will tell.

    • I think it might be safe to assume a dry heat will most likely rule over a moist humid heat 😆 I love my visits to the coast, but I’m not an ocean gal. What I’d really like is lake front property similar to what I’d find in WI or MN but located in AZ. Can you make that happen? 🤣

    • So nice to hear from you stranger. Hopefully with the big golf course project complete, you’ll jump back in to blogging. Yep, we’re still out here meandering around the country. 1 to 2 years, has turned into 4. How did that happen? Have my photos gotten better? I’m trying ☺

  11. So sorry! I hit send before I finished my words….. we used to get together with them often when they were in California. They had wonderful stories and at times I thought the r v lifestyle was certainly something I would want to look at. It is a commitment and an exciting Journey. Although we love to camp and travel we decided that there’s no place like home although I still get a twinge of envy when I read your posts

    • With this new laptop of mine all it takes is a little tap and boom …. something gets sent, deleted, or otherwise messed up! So I can relate.
      I never planned or dreamed of living in a RV full-time. We did it on a whim and it was suppose to be short term. It’ll be interesting to see what we end up doing. We’ll probably buy something on a whim and the opposite of what we’re looking for or be out here meandering another 4 years 😆

    • Hey, my wing woman knows where to find me. Come on down! The weather and birding this year has been awesome. However, the whooping cranes aren’t hanging around 8th Street as much as they were that year you were here. That was the best whooper year yet.

  12. The bird photos are always amazing! What an interesting journey this must be for you because you are always on the road, but you’re also always at home. It sounds amazing, and I can see why 2 years have turned into 4!

    • Thank you! I think I’ll always call Colorado ‘home’, and love my return visits. But I’m not sure I’d want to live there again full-time. I guess I’m one of those people who embraces change and gets bored easily. Al’s just happy I haven’t traded him in 😆 and he’ll roll with me on a housing decision …. with a stipulation, or two!

  13. You have really outdone yourself with the image of the two herons. They look like they are reviewing troops – I can practically hear a military band.

    It’s always fun to speculate on whether we could survive living in a particular community or not, even though we have no plans to give up our Michigan home. I’m pretty sure I would choose hills over shores – not so sure about John.

    We’re at Whitewater Draw for the night. Figure that we’ll watch the big fly in tonight, and the Morning Exit, and leave sometime after that. We were here last time in March – seems like there are many more cranes here in January. We’re excited for the big show.

    Sorry we missed connections. Maybe yet this season….

    • I can’t wait to hear about your experience at Whitewater Draw. We were there in Feb a couple years ago and it was amazing. We stayed 3 nights and I shot thousands of photos. I should go back one day since I understand my camera much better now than I did back then.
      The birding and weather has been wonderful this year along the Texas Gulf Coast with the exception of that cold snap that you experienced.
      We actually considered a lake front property in MI … briefly. The problem, it’s in the Midwest lol. We’ve become rather western but if I did have to move back to the Midwest, it would probably be MI.

  14. Those are some amazing bird shots, Ingrid. It looks like you are doing just fine!

    I recognize the feeling of hoping to come across that “perfect” place to call a home base and how hard it is to actually find it. We have had similar sentiments, especially when exploring Mexico and Central America with our truck camper (we came close to moving to Belize) and during the eight years on our sailboat, and now house sitting. Perfect doesn’t exist and you and us, we are spoiled in what we have seen and picky in where we would want to live long-term. We haven’t found that special place yet, so I am not surprised you haven’t either. As of now, we are not really looking, but assume that when it clicks between us and a unique environment, we will know. 🙂 Being able to enjoy many places each year is still more attractive than “sticking” to one.

    • Yep, you and I both know ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist. As a former homebuilder, I would work with clients all day and hear the term ‘dream home’ used routinely … which does not exist. I’m not sure what I’m looking for … some days all I want is an acre of land with a barn and other days it’s a condo. With that level of undecided diversity, we’ll probably be out here meandering another four years. And that too, has its perks. Although at the rate I’m going, I’ll need at least one new camera. I’m afraid I may be wearing this one out 😉

  15. We really love the coast, too. Port Aransas is our favourite, with Rockport/Fulton second. Luckily, we are only a four-hour drive away. Our old place in Karnes City was even closer, just over 2 hours.
    Thanks for the fantastic pictures, Ingrid. I’m looking forward to more.
    Have a great weekend,
    Pit

    • The last two days have been very successful in the photographic department. If my husband didn’t have a buddy in Lamar that he meets up with, I think we’d spend more time in Port A … but then again, this Rockport/Fulton area seems to provide me with plenty of entertainment 🙂

  16. Thank you for the tour! Every time you post about Rockport I want to go back! Thanks to your advice before our Texas trip I had some must see places and the Rockport area was at the top of my list. Little did I know how much I would enjoy it there. Unlike some of the other towns along the Gulf coast of Texas and Florida it still had a small town feel. We loved the drive through Fulton Beach, the big tree, and of course the birds. I hope they will be able to resist putting up high rises and that it will stay the way it is for a long time.

    • I think this area will maintain that small hometown feel. Although they have been doing some building and the area seems to be better off than a few years ago, I don’t think it’ll loose its character. I do enjoy my visits to the area, but I don’t think I could live here full-time. But I’ll never say, never 😁

  17. That would be fun with all those different birds. And yes, this life is very addictive. We need a place to go back and make art show stuff, and the current Utah location is not it. We thought about Wyoming, but watching the winter there, we changed our minds. Arizona is where we will build an art studio, a place to stop for a bit and then jump back in the RV and go.

    • My dad gave us a piece of advice years ago …. ‘buy a place where you can live year round’. Once my mom and him started having health issues and he didn’t feel safe driving the motorhome, they did the snowbird condo thing a couple years but eventually had to give up traveling which left them stuck in the Chicago suburbs all winter. You two should look around Dewey/Prescott for acreage with a barn or ability to build one. Perfect elevation without severe winters or summers.

  18. Great shots! I love the one of the 2 Herons (side by side) I am starting to take bird shots too – now that I have a nice zoom lens equivalent to 28-280mm. I relate to your challenge of getting a good shot!
    I have a beauty of Canada Geese that I recently posted – I’m actually getting it printed 12×18 canvas.

    • That Heron shot is one of my favorites too, but yesterday I captured an even better one. It’s so fun challenging myself. Congrats on the new lens. I look forward to seeing your photos posted.

    • Welcome to the mobile life …. it’s addicting as is birding. My interest in bird photography certainly snuck up on me ☺ Let me know if I can offer any TX suggestions. I did a bunch of blog posts on TX back in Dec ’14/Jan ’15.

  19. Hey there, well not sure if I told you that I sold my house, horse, trailer extra car, so been paying my bills off and trying to plan for next year. I plan on working this year to help finish paying everything and have money to do something other then work. I have a problem trying to decide which to do? I am still planing on getting a condo in Florida because I do like the idea of a home to go to after traveling. If I buy it now while I am working it will be easier to do ? I am looking for a fixer upper under 150,000. Also to keep payment down so I can still travel. I was going to get a larger truck and a fifth wheel but the thought of payments is not what I want now. So I have a smaller pu paid off and I can just pu a bumper pull camper that will work for a lot less then the fifth wheel. Do you think that sounds smarter to buy condo first? I believe I can travel just fine in a smaller camper. Let me know your thoughts. Remember it’s just me and the dogs. I am really getting burned out with work and just trying to get as much as I can without a lot of payments. I will need to work on a tight budget to do this. The condo etc will run 1200.00 with the monthly cost for that. With mortgage,ins,util hoa fees. Any advice gladly taken! I have 11 months to figure it out.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  20. Love your pictures!!! Mike bought a Nikon today 7100 and I will be looking for a camera myself in the near future. We haven’t upgraded since we went full-time the first time. You are a very good photographer. We love birding and can’t wait to be able to get some good pics.

    • Awe, thank you. I just use a bridge camera (Panasonic FZ200) and it allows me to zoom into 600mm. Even then, most of the time the birds are still too far away for a clear capture. Thus, love it when they are accommodating and actually pose for me.

  21. Thank you Ingrid! I have enjoyed both post on the Texas coast and the beautiful photographs. We can’t wait to join the full timers hopefully this spring. The house goes on MLS Monday 🙂 Brian has been busy planning our summer travels. I think you will have wonderful wildflowers to photograph in Arizona this year, our native poppies are coming up everywhere.

    • I am so excited AND nervous for you guys. I remember when we went through the process … no regrets though. Maybe the four of us can get in a hike at the Superstitions to capture images of wildflowers in March.

  22. These photos are stunning! I especially love the two in the tree gazing off into the distance. These pics seem to indicate that you have mastered the challenge of photographing birds!!

  23. We are in same mode of looking, but it will probably be years until we sell our base camp in AK and find a perm home in the lower 48 or maybe NZ the way things are going in DC. We figure it will present itself all of sudden some day and we will know.
    Great post and of course your marvelous bird pics, great stuff!

    • That bridge camera does a pretty good job when the user sets the right settings 😆 I think this summer we’ll stay in the state of AZ and meander around and see if anything piques our interest. We’ve determined we like our kids and would like to be somewhat close to them (less than a 3 hour drive away, is close lol).

  24. You’re photography is amazing! We’ve never seen such amazing birds, so we really enjoy your photos!
    Oh we know how wonderful the rolling house lifestyle is! We see no end in sight. In fact, we often say we can’t imagine life back in a sticks ‘n bricks house again….gonna have to get too old for this lifestyle in order to quit! Lol

    • Thank you Debbie … I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of shore birds in Florida. I love this lifestyle, BUT I am missing that home base. However, after 30 days in one spot, hitch itch sets in. Thus, I question when I’ll be ready to actually commit to a location 😏

      • Yes we also get that itch after 30 days! We do love Myrtle Beach, so tried to stay 60 but Hurricane Matthew blew it up!
        The shore birds here are not as spectacular, but we do get excited when we see them!

  25. Love your bird photos, Ingrid. We have seen a lot of Magnificent Frigatebirds over here in Melbourne Beach. Have you ever seen them? I guess this is the northern edge of their range. They look like small teredactyls! Our friends dog looks up and sees them, then hightails it into the house!

    • Hmm, have not heard of that bird. I’ll need to Google that one. There are so many interesting and unique shore birds that I doubt I’ll ever spot them all.

  26. Love your photos!
    I like the way you are not rushing to choose a place to settle down. When we began full timing in 2009, we knew that if both girls did not move to TX, we would buy something back in Canton, OH. Our entire families, minus Carrie, are there, tons of friends and our church that we love is there. Kelly won’t be moving to TX, so that helped us make the decision to buy a tiny house for May-Aug. There are several other places we know we could adopt as our home, but Canton it is for now.

    • Thanks Marsha … it’s fun capturing those birds on ‘film’. Just like you, location of family plays a VERY important role in us choosing a location. I just don’t know what I want considering a traditional neighborhood doesn’t appeal to me. One day, it’ll hit me 😉

  27. Great pictures! It’s not easy to get spoonbills landing, great blue herons flying, and close enough to get the beautiful green eye of the cormorant!

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