Texas, known as The Lone Star State is a lesser known diving gem, even though it shares the same clear Gulf waters with its more popular neighbour Mexico. Texas is most famous for its Hollywood cowboy films, friendly people (Texas comes from the Hasinai Indian word tejas which means allies or friends) and its country music and rodeos. But when it comes to diving, Texas has everything: grande marine sanctuaries, inland freshwater diving sites, spooky shipwrecks and giant pelagic sea life.
In Texas you can be sure to find crystal-clear water whether its in the natural springs, the rivers, in many of the lakes and of course in the Gulf of Mexico. Shore diving includes Bob Wentz Park, Windy Point Park and Mansfield Dam. In spring time the lakes average a year-round temperature of 22°C (72°F) and underwater visibility can reach 100 feet (30 meters) in Spring Lake, depending on the depth.
One of the most famous sites in Texas is The Texas Clipper. A 473-foot long shipwreck serving as the nation's third largest artificial reef. Located 17 miles off South Padre Island, once named ‘U.S.S. Queens’ and was a World War II troop transport vessel. The ship's descent to the bottom was messy and left it resting on its side, creating the look and feel of a more "natural" shipwreck.
Another famous site is Flower Garden Banks, a coral reef ecosystem with hard corals the size of small cars and a huge variety of marine life. Visibility is within 30 meters (100 feet) and here you can usually see hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and manta rays. The Flower Garden Banks are protected by a 56-square mile sanctuary administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Other incredible sites include Balmorhea State Park- an easy dive for all levels, Lake Travis- A popular spot due to its Central Texas location has visibility of 10 meters (30 feet) on a good day, with a series of wrecks ranging from large sailboats to small houseboats along Wreck Alley, Spring Lake- One of the clearest places to dive in Texas with more than 200 beautiful bubbling springs with the densest population of turtles in the United States.