The University of Texas at Austin
  • Get Lost in the Unexpected Beauty of Texas Surf Culture

    Published: June 18

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    “Surf Texas,” published by The University of Texas Press, is an evocative and nostalgic photo essay that presents an insider’s portrait of the surf culture of Texas.

    The urge to ride a wave, the search for the next perfect swell, is an enduring preoccupation that draws people to coastlines around the world.

    In “Surf Texas,” a new title published by The University of Texas Press, photographer and Texan surfer Kenny Braun reveals the essence of the surfers’ world from Galveston to South Padre, presenting an alternative perspective than what traditional surf photography has offered from surfing meccas like Hawaii and California.

    “Perfect sets of waves are few and far between on the Texas coast, but Texas surfers know that and have made the necessary psychic adjustments,” writes novelist Stephen Harrigan in the book’s foreword. “And, in observing them, Kenny Braun has the advantage of being one of them. He knows what they’re looking for, he knows what they’ll settle for, and he knows what they dream about.”

    Harrigan adds, “The relative absence of towering, perfectly formed waves may have had a liberating impact on Braun’s work, allowing him to forgo the spectacular nature shots we’ve come to expect from surf photography and introduce us to something altogether different, a somewhat journalistic black-and-white chronicle that presents surfing not as high adventure but as dogged pastime.”

    Below, catch a wave and browse a selection of Braun’s work from “Surf Texas.”

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.

    Surf Texas book Kenny Braun University of Texas press

    Photographs from Surf Texas by Kenny Braun (Copyright © 2014 by the University of Texas Press) used by permission of Kenny Braun and the University of Texas Press. For more information visit www.utexaspress.com.
    • Quote 2
      Rodney said on June 25 at 3:54 p.m.
      Stoked on the article. Going to have to pick up the book. Surf TEXAS!!!! Mary, contact Morgan Faulkner at Texas Surf Camps (www.texassurfcamps.com). He can set her up!!! Thanks for the article.
    • Quote 2
      mary beth laye said on June 23 at 7:48 a.m.
      Hello - Thanks for posting these images and congrats on your book! I am taking my daughter surfing for the first time at Port Aransas in July. Do you know anyone there who can give us a lesson? She is 8 and for some reason is obsessed with surfing although she has never been. :) Thank you.
    • Quote 2
      Song said on June 22 at 8:56 a.m.
      Love these pictures!!! Thank you for sharing as my Ultimate Passion is surfing.
    • Quote 2
      Carlos Moreno said on June 19 at 9:56 a.m.
      Marvelous work!!!
    • Quote 2
      scott said on June 19 at 6:04 a.m.
      nice pictures / story love the gulf coast surfing.
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