For decades, I’ve waited with almost manic fervor and anticipation for the arrival of the latest issue of a surf magazine in my mailbox each month.

I love and consume all of the content religiously: the photos and articles from far-flung locales, the interviews with the personalities of our sport and the news about latest surfboard design trends. To me, surf magazines are as synonymous with riding waves as the smell of surf wax and red eyes after a long session.

But, alas, the Internet and social media have significantly altered the landscape of the surf mags and the way surfers consume information. While there are a few magazines holding on, most have ceased operations or have dramatically reduced their page counts, victims of the new media wave that has infiltrated every corner of our daily lives.

While it’s easy to lament the good old days of 100-page publications, I’ve found that embracing this new media diet is a better approach. In that vein, I’ve come to appreciate several Instagram accounts that share photos and stories in their posts. Some are national in scope—say from a famous professional surfer or an international online publication—but perhaps the most enjoyable are from our local surfers and photographers here on the upper Texas coast.

If you’re not familiar with Instagram, it’s a social networking application that’s made to share photos and videos from a smartphone. It also gives users an opportunity to explain the photo or video in the text below each post.

One of the great things about social media is that it has given people a platform to express their creativity to the broader world, an opportunity that just wasn’t possible in traditional publications. And that’s a good thing.

Here are a few surfing-related Texas accounts on Instagram that I think are worth a look:

@adamisraelvaladez—One of the top local accounts for surf photography in Galveston and Surfside, this feed also includes a ton of great skateboarding photos.

@this_is_galveston—Photographer David Avina’s page, featuring Galveston landscapes and its local surfers, is a phenomenal collection.

@robhensonsurfshots—From the photog who was the staff shooter at the BSR Surf Resort before it closed for the season in late September and the current president of the Texas Gulf Surfing Association.

@davidreadgallery—While much of the content is from just down the road in Surfside, the photos depicting coastal life are exceptional.

@risesurf—The account from the Rise Surf Company is full of photos from the location’s shaping bay in Texas City.

@kennybraun—While not exclusively surfing-related, this account by acclaimed Texas photographer Kenny Braun does features some amazing photographs of waves in the Lone Star State, along with tons of beautiful landscapes.

Stephen Hadley is a longtime surfer who lives and works in Galveston. If you have an idea for this column, email him at

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