The Art of Sand Castles

They call themselves sand sculptors—artists who build massive structures on the beach for fun and profit, only to watch their work disappear overnight.

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Sandcastle Competitions
Photographer: Michael Hanson

Sand-Centric Business

Lucinda Wierenga, who is 54 and goes by the professional name "Sandy Feet," was a high-school English teacher when she discovered South Padre Island. It became her refuge from work and Lucinda, who had never attended art classes, found her medium in the sand. "It was a revelation to me when people started walking up and saying, 'Wow, you're really an artist,' " she says.

Nowadays, she gives carving lessons and runs corporate team-building events during which employees learn to cooperate by sculpting together. She accepts commissions for beach-wedding sculptures and will-you-marry-me castles. She has written three books on the subject. She creates beach "billboards" for businesses and special occasions. And she's competed around the world.

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