September 1, 2020

South Padre Island, TX, September 1, 2020 – South Padre Island is hatching the fifth sea turtle on the Sea Turtle Art Trail at the Island’s Chamber of Commerce. Covered in roses, this colorful addition to the trail is the creation of South Texas native, Cecilia Garza. Her design is focused on creating a sense of relaxation and appreciation for the beauty all around, a literal call to take a break from negativity and embrace something lovely. 

A self-taught artist and maker, Garza’s art is filled with complex layering of color and shapes, and her turtle, titled “Stop and Smell the Roses,” is a beautiful rendition. The turtle features vividly colored roses in a repeating pattern on the shell. The fifth turtle on the trail, this sculpture is the first to step out of the sea and into the garden. The shell has beautiful detailing of rose petals in a stunning, bright palette of pinks, purples, blues, and reds, with a yellow rose near the center. Sea Turtle Art Trail fans can track the progress of her painting on her Instagram page.

Sea turtle sculpture

Garza sees art as a storyteller, a time machine into the past, and a wish for the future. She wanted this turtle to create a sense of shared experience. “It’s a universal language that allows everyone to connect from worlds apart,” said Garza. “Art invokes emotion and can help us to have empathy, love, and understanding.”

South Padre Island is renowned for being one of the world’s foremost spots for the rescue and rehabilitation of sea turtles including the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. The City Of South Padre Island and the South Padre Convention and Visitors Bureau still have two sea turtles left to hatch for this first incarnation of the Sea Turtle Art Trail. These lovingly created sculptures serve as an ideal stop on an Island that celebrates, rescues, and works together to protect sea turtles. All turtles on the Trail are arranged for ease of both social distancing and selfies.

“South Padre Island is the place for so many visitors to stop and appreciate the beauty of the Gulf,” said Ed Caum South Padre Island’s CVB Director. “Cecilia Garza’s rendition reminds us that we all must appreciate the moments we have together, moments to pause, reflect, and appreciate the natural world around us.” 

For more information about the Sea Turtle Art Trail and more activities on South Padre Island, please visit

# # #