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A couple islands you should visit along Texas' massive, diverse coastline

Take a medical job anywhere along Texas' southern edges and soon enough you'll fall in love with its massive, diverse coastline – eclectic both in its beautiful beaches and in its communities. Yep, you'll soon realize there's a lot more to the Lone Star State than big sky, barbecue and the Alamo. Don't get us wrong those are all venerable things of which Texas should always be proud. We're just saying you should check out the coast, too. Here are the best islands to visit while you're on locum tenens assignment in Texas.

Padre Island

Both white and golden sand blankets this island. Calm turquoise waves crash softly every second on the shoreline. Padre Island is life. If you'd like to stay a few nights you're more than welcome to: primitive camping is open year round on South Beach. If you're thinking, this isn't where tons of spring breakers party every year, is it? No, it's not. You're thinking of South Padre Island just, well, south.

Still, there are reasons people from all over the world flock to these stretches of sand. Padre Island itself is the longest undeveloped barrier island in the entire world. Endangered sea turtles skitter about every year to use it as a safe nesting ground. And all types of bird species – over 380 to be more specific – mingle along the coast every day.

Galveston Island

For those of you who've been to (or live in) Texas, you saw this one coming, right? We had to throw Galveston Island in here as one of the best to visit. It's perhaps the most photographed out of all the islands along Texas' coast. Not only for its unerring beauty but also because it's only about an hour drive southeast of Houston on a good day. It might be a bit longer drive if you're heading there on a holiday.

Galveston Island was hit hard by Hurricane Ike back in 2008. But it's since rebounded. Fishing is almost back in full force and the beaches are once again being enjoyed. It just goes to show, you can't beat Texas' spirit. It's as irrepressible as its beauty.

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