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Norma Boylan

Achna Dam

Patrick Born

Borders - Packery Channel: Can't mess with Nature

Padre Island (near Corpus Christi), Texas, USA

March 20, 2006 at 17H56

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© 2006 Patrick Born, All Rights Reserved.

Caption

Borders - Packery Channel: Can't mess with Nature

Background

I paddle my kayak in the Gulf of Mexico off of Whitecap Beach and have watched with interest as borders have been erected and beach access has been restricted. As the Packery Channel project has progressed, more "Do not enter" construction site signs have appeared on the beaches.

I photographed the sequence of photographs for this immersive image from Highway 361’s bridge over Packery Channel.

Stuff to look at

This is an immersive image, go ahead:
  • Open the full-screen image for the best view.
  • Zoom in, can you see the road-kill across the road? It was a bird of prey.
  • Rotate the image so you can see the dredging barges and construction equipment that are doing battle with Nature, attempting to enforce a man-made border by means of natural resources.
  • Look beyond the barges and slightly left, that's the mouth of the Packery Channel and the waves of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Look down, can you see the cigarette butt and smashed beer bottle? What are people thinking!


What’s this got to do with Borders?

Padre Island is a barrier island bordering southern Texas. The island is about 5,000 years old and is still changing constantly. The beaches erode at a rate of 3 to 5 feet per year.
Once known as Corpus Christi Pass, Packery Channel is now a source of interest for many, including me and my camera.

Some people want Packery Channel open to the Gulf of Mexico, feeling that breeching the Padre Island border will provide easier Gulf access for water craft and will in turn, bring more resorts, tourists, and progress to the area. Nature has other plans. Just because Man decides to create an artificial border, doesn’t mean that Nature will respect Man’s border. My title "Can’t mess with Nature" is a play on Texas’ "Don’t mess with Texas" anti-litter campaign, which judging by the litter around me, is having as much impact on littering as Man’s having with making a man-made border using Nature.

Over the years, hurricanes have opened Packery Channel and within months, the powerful Gulf currents have deposited enough sand to close the Packery Channel again.

During the last 10 years, developers have planned and worked at opening the Packery Channel permanently.

Additional Information and Sources:

  • Consulting Geologist, Dr. Watson’s Facts about Texas Inlets:
http://packery.com/rwatson/packery/passfacts.htm and http://packery.com/rwatson/packery/packery.htm

Virtual Tour Photography and hosting at http://GoVIRTUAL360.com

Location

USA-Canada / USA-Texas

Lat: 27° 37' 8.23" N
Long: 97° 12' 52.24" W

Elevation: 20

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: High. Pinpoints the exact spot.

OpenStreetMap: © OpenStreetMap contributors

Equipment

I use Nikon D70 bodies and lenses. For this immersive image, I used:
  • 10.5mm f/2.8 lens @f/8
  • Manfrotto 3233 tripod
  • Manfrotto 303 SPH panorama head
  • Photoshop CS2
  • PTGui
  • Pano2QTVR
  • Peter Nyfeler's Photoshop Nadir Action
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