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Temporary but powerful: Woman creates detailed art in sand in Port Aransas

If you happen to be on the beaches of Port Aransas when the sun comes up, you just might see some one-of-a-kind (and very temporary) works of art in the sand.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Give an artist a broken paintbrush and they will create masterpieces in the sand. At least, that is what one woman is doing in South Texas.

If you happen to be on the beaches of Port Aransas when the sun comes up, you might just see some one-of-a-kind (and very temporary) works of art in the sand.  'Sandalas,' if you will. 

That's if the tide cooperates. 

Jolene Martin has been creating the sand art since 2020. When she posts them on Facebook, usually in the Shutter Bugs Port Aransas group, thousands of people engage.

"Walked by as you were working on it this morning, what a lovely piece of art! Thanks for sharing it with everyone, made my day," one commenter said. Another said "these photos never get old - always a pleasure to see!" 

One word that seems to be common in all the posts? "Beautiful." 

One reason she creates the works of art is for meditation. In the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, mandalas are an "object of meditation to aid in one's spiritual development."

"I do the mandalas a lot because I can lose myself in them, if that makes sense, I don't even have to think about it, I just go," Martin said. She usually posts a motivational quote with her artwork.

She never planned on creating the viral works of art. 

"I was just looking for something to do, basically, and I was out camping on the beach in Port Aransas and I found this little orange, broken paintbrush handle when I was cleaning up the beach one day and I just started drawing in the sand with it and that's what started it and I have been doing it ever since," Martin said.

Martin said she usually finishes a piece in about 30 minutes. She doesn't create a new design everyday and has recently been hindered by higher than normal tides. So, it is truly an experience if you can catch one before it washes away.

And if you were wondering, like we were, how there are no footprints around the works of art, Martin said in a comment it is "magic," (or just flip-flops with light tread).

Martin has been an artist her whole life. She went to school to be an art teacher. She paints, does portraits and was even a tattoo artist. You can check out her work on her Instagram page, and even commission a custom piece of art from her. You can also find her on Facebook here.

Want you own, custom 'Sandala' for a special occasion? She does that, too!


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