The Death of Aquarena Springs

When I was a kid, there was this grand water park called Aquarena Springs in San Marcos, Texas. The park was situated on Spring Lake, a spring-fed lake with species of fish and amphibians found no where else in the world. There was a submarine theater with mermaids and a swimming pig, a chicken that could play tic-tac-toe, an albino alligator, a gondola, and many other things that have escaped my memories.

The park closed in 1996 and was slowly converted to a nature center and, during that transition, I visited my childhood park and was horrified to find the decaying remains of Aquarena Springs… structures overgrown and being reclaimed by nature, the amazing Submarine Theater flooded and sunk on the bottom of the lake, and the water reclaiming the banks.

Don’t be too sad, though. I visited again a few years after these pictures were taken and all of the remains of the old park were gone and the lake was returned to a natural state, along with glass bottom boat tours being offered to get a look at the world beneath the surface.

The flooded Submarine Theater
The abandoned gondola station

Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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