This is Livin’… | McGowan Images Blog


This is Livin’…

I find that most people I ask haven’t seen the Elvis movie “Kid Galahad”. It wasn’t one of his more popular ones, but it’s my second favorite (next to Clambake, in case you were curious). It opens with Elvis riding down the road in the back of a truck, not a penny to his name, happy as a clam because the weather is nice. I know what that feels like. 🙂 This is perhaps the most beautiful summer weather I’ve seen in my 15+ years as a Texan, and we are livin’ it up every chance we get.

We’re noticing something, though… it seems our blog commenters are going on vacation, too! 🙂 We love seeing that our viewership has stayed steady, but more and more of the interaction has moved to Facebook “likes” and things of that nature. I just want to say, publicly, we appreciate each of you that comes to check us out every day, once a week, once a month… whenever. It feels AWESOME that you care about what we’re doing and who we’re photographing, and we feel extra-special-awesome when you take the time to let us know you enjoy what we’re posting. Keeping up with this blog (even when it’s down to 3x weekly posting like this summer) is a FULL time job, and it’s nice to know there are so many of you that appreciate the work we put into keeping this fresh & interesting!

We’ll have a super-gorgeous new session up here on Monday after the holiday, but today, it’s all about our recent beach trip. In addition to the Dallas stay-cation with the kids, we have a Port Aransas family trip planned for later this summer. This one, though, was for grown-ups. 🙂 We met our friends & frequent McG collaborators Meg & Eric and spent a lot of time soaking up salt water, sunshine, margaritas, and laughter. It was JUST what our spirits needed! I wish we’d taken more group pictures, but we were having too much fun just LIVING.

Enjoy this little snapshot tour through our 4 day trip to the best little beach town in Texas. 🙂

Of course, the first thing we did when we made it into town was run down to the pier. I begged Mack to pull out the tripod so we could have a proper self-timer cheesy shot on the beach, and because he loves me, he did it. Once. The tripod never came out again all weekend. 🙂

After Meg & Eric made it into town, we ate lunch at Port A Brewing Company, checked into our cute little beach condo, and walked down to the water! A great time was had by all, and we turned in early because Friday was an early start. 🙂
We got up before sunrise and drove down the beach to meet our fishing guide, and were greeted by the sun coming up over the water. GORGEOUS.

I really wish we’d had our guide take a group picture on the boat, but no one thought of it. The boys are sorely under-represented in these “big camera” pictures, because they were more concerned with actually fishing than in posing for pictures. You can see more from this (and the rest of the trip) by checking our instagram accounts! @Chelsea_McGowan and @MeaganBechtel. Look at my three amigos rockin’ their fishing shirts, though!!

Meg caught the first fish of the day! A tiny little trout. 🙂

Our guide was used to seeing this dolphin out showing off in one particular spot, so he stopped and called to him so we could play. The dolphin’s name is Pickles. We’re basically besties now. 🙂

Here at the end of the fishing trip pictures is where we’d normally post a shot of our haul… but we didn’t catch a SINGLE keeper fish. Regular blog & facebook followers will realize that happens EVERY TIME I FISH. Chelsea is bad luck. 🙁

After an EPIC nap, we headed up to Padre Island for Meg and I to go horseback riding on the beach! Such a squealy wonderful girly moment. 🙂 I loved getting to share this time with my sweet friend. Our horses were perfect gentlemen named Hercules & Neptune!

The boys left us at the ranch and we were sad we wouldn’t have pictures on the surf, until we heard ourselves being cat-called during the ride. Those industrious husbands drove down the beach until they found us so we’d have good pictures! 🙂 LOVE!

Saturday was a lazy day full of swimming & sleeping & sand castle building and leaving the camera safely tucked away. We had a wonderful bonfire on the beach around midnight… and it was so humid, my lens immediately fogged up!

You camera aficionados might be interested to know that these bonfire pictures were made possible entirely by the wonder that is the Canon 5D mk iii. We shot these at 20,000 ISO, and STILL had to be crazy still and it took forever to focus. But hey, it was nearly pitch dark. Such treasures… I’m happy we have them!

Sunday morning was a bit of a crazy whirlwind. See, there was a mistake in our reservation and I’m a big dummy who didn’t cross-check the dates, and while we THOUGHT we had the condo through Monday at 11, we actually had to check out on Sunday. Yeah. We had 10 minutes notice to clean out a 2 story condo. I felt SO BAD. Luckily, everyone was super cool about it, and we used Hilton reward points to get a hotel room in town, and all’s well that ends well.

We upped our spirits and killed time waiting for more friends to join us by partaking in a time-honored tradition of crazy shark pictures at the souvenir store!

Jeremy & Christy (who’s beyond-beautiful anniversary lifestyle session you’ll see here on the blog on Monday) were able to drive down from San Antonio to spend the day with us! YAY! So many people I love all in one place! It was the best day. 🙂 Of course, with brand new fresh tattoos, Jeremy & Christy’s trip to the beach involved a little maintenance. 🙂

On the one hand, I wish I had more “real” pictures. Our instagram accounts are full of handsome husbands fishing, fun beachy braids, crab boils, margaritas, and other “slices of life”, but I always wish I had more high-quality images. Maybe I should hire paparazzi for our next group vacation?? Because honestly, as much as I wish I had the pictures, I’m glad I wasn’t tied to our camera.

It’s summer time… time for LIVING.

Have a fantastic 4th of July, friends. Be safe, come back, we’ll see you soon. 🙂

  1. Amy says:

    LOOKS LIKE A BLAST!!! I need to go to the beach and LIVE! you and meg are beautiful as always! enjoy your summer time!!!

  2. Vicky says:

    I know you guys have been working towards losing weight and stuff and that first photo shows your hard work!!!! It’s such a great shot of you two and you both look so great!! 🙂 The trip looks like its a blast. It’s so strange, you remind me so much of myself in the way you write, and I assume speak as well! I am also busy having the best summer of my life by living it up to the extreme!! Concerts, baseball games, friends, laughter, sunburns AND I LOVE EVERY minute of it. I wasn’t home until after 2 am this Monday night after seeing a concert on the beach. Granted, it was Canada Day but I did have to be at work the next morning as well. I think living in the moment is the meaning of life, and you guys totally have that down!

  3. Kelsey says:

    Love the kissy picture of Meg and the fish. SO cute! Looks like a blast and I’m a little (ok, a lot) jealous.

  4. leahapop says:

    was just there in the EXACT same spot 🙂
    hope your trip was fun. was it as WINDY as our trip. omg!

  5. Lynne says:

    GREAT pictures – looks like you had a blast. Love the black and white of you and Mack by the bonfire. 🙂

  6. Mike says:

    Umm, pick me! PICK ME! I’ll be y’all’s paparazzi!!! SO envious of your trip fun & super amazing friends. I got a good laugh out of the “Chelsea is bad luck with fishes” section. And Meg always looks amazing…even when she’s fishing! Those campfire photos. Wowsers. Love the MKIII! Please tell me you’re hanging those up somewhere. Especially the solo shot of you, Chelsea! Loved every bit of this post.

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