Capturing the Spirit of Texas’ Hidden Surf Culture

A surfer himself, Austin-based photographer Kenny Braun’s book depicts life catching waves on the Gulf Shore.

By Leah ScarpelliMay 20, 2016 11:47 am|

There are more surfers than cowboys in Texas.

Kenny Braun thinks so, at least. The Austin-based photographer says that the Lone Star State is the sixth most favored surfing destination in the nation. If that sounds unbelievable, Braun has the photos to back it up. His book, Surf Texas, is a collection of photographs of the Gulf Coast’s surfing culture. This weekend, he’ll be showcasing his work in Houston.

“Anywhere there’s waves, there are surfers,” Braun says.

He says that even though Texas may not immediately come to mind, there is a surf culture on the coast. The surf may not be big or consistent, but it’s enough to ride.

“The Gulf Coast is not the Pacific Ocean by any stretch, but its a big enough body of water to produce quality waves,” he says. “And the waves, when they’re good, they usually don’t last for but a day or two.”

Braun says he tries to capture the thrill of the sport in his photographs.

“You’re literally riding on the pulse of the planet,” Braun says. “That might sound kinda cheesy – I heard this surfer say one time the more you talk about surfing the worse off you are, because you start sounding kind of silly. But if you know that feeling, there’s nothing else like it.”

Listen to the full interview in the player above.