It doesn't get much better than San Marcos in the summertime! With the temperatures rising and families looking to escape into the great outdoors, we want to make sure you are prepared for a great summer SMTXperience. From bringing all the necessities, to knowing local rules and helpful tips – let us be your guide!

Don’t Forget A Bag

San Marcos is full of natural beauty and we want to keep it that way! Make sure you bring a bag with you for your trash and belongings. This way nothing goes astray or ends up unintentionally becoming litter. The plants, animals, and locals will thank you for taking extra care of our beautiful city.


Remember, It's A Real River

The San Marcos River is a natural-forming body of moving water. It is spring-fed, so the water stays a cool 72 degrees all year long. Visitors should be aware of currents and wildlife when enjoying a refreshing summer SMTXperience. We highly suggest wearing a life vest when exploring the river, especially for children and those who are inexperienced swimmers. 


Protect Your Skin

No matter what SMTXperience is planned, you should always be prepared for the hot Texas sun. We recommend always wearing sunscreen, even on a cloudy day, and reapplying every two hours or when needed. Wearing hats or sunglasses will help protect your eyes from the bright sun. The worst memento from a fun day in the sun is a painful sunburn - ouch!


Hydration Is Key

Staying hydrated can be tricky during the hot summer months. Bring plenty of water with you on all of your SMTXperiences so you are never taken by surprise. Also, try to drink water consistently throughout the day so your body stays at a constant level of hydration. Something to keep in mind, caffeine, and alcohol are diuretics and make it harder for your body to stay hydrated. When consuming alcohol, please do so responsibly! Alcohol is not allowed in parkland, but it can be brought into the river through the public access points for your water recreation activities. 


Leave Glass And Styrofoam At Home

Soda, beer, or sparkling water can be a refreshing treat on hot summer days. However, glass bottles and Styrofoam (yes, even Styrofoam coolers) are prohibited in San Marcos parks and waterways. Glass can easily break and end up on the river bed and bank. Styrofoam breaks down into bite-sized pieces for fish, birds, and turtles where it remains in their stomachs causing them to feel full and starve to death. The best option is to bring your water and sodas in a reusable bottle to decrease your carbon footprint! 

Couple in kayak paddling the San Marcos River

Appropriate Shoes

While flip flops are a convenient footwear choice for the summer season, we recommend a sturdier shoe that secures to your foot. The extra stability makes it less likely you’ll take a tumble, break a strap or lose them altogether. The river current is stronger than you think and your improperly secured shoes can vanish downriver faster than you can react.


Plan Ahead

Familiarize yourself with maps and landmarks just in case you get lost or separated from your group. Always be aware of your surroundings in case of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to have a designated meeting place before your SMTXperience in case anyone does get separated. And remember, the buddy system always goes a long way!


Don’t Bring Valuables

Don’t bring anything to the river that you don’t mind losing! Your expensive sunglasses could just end up in the Gulf of Mexico if they get away from you… Keep your belongings secure – tie car keys to swimsuits and anything that needs to stay dry should be put in double-bagged Ziplocs, a dry bag or a snap-top plastic container. Pro tip: we like to put a dry shirt in double-bagged Ziplocs for when we get out of the water.


Stick To Public Access Points

The San Marcos River connects with the Guadalupe River and flows into the Gulf of Mexico, so don't forget to get out of the river at one of San Marcos' many public access points! There are several convenient public access points to get in and out of the river around San Marcos. These public access points allow you to get in and out of the water without trampling some of the much-needed flora on the river banks. It also designates public parkland so you don’t end up trespassing on someone’s private property.

For a full list of park do's and don'ts visit 

By staying safe, abiding by local rules and guidelines, and being respectful of your surroundings, you’re guaranteed a great SMTXperience! Share photos of your adventures with us by using #SMTXperience on your social media posts.   

Do you have any tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!