GALVESTON, Texas — Galveston was the place to be on Saturday as the first Spring Break weekend of the year got underway.
Thousands flocked to the beaches to enjoy the weather and water.
However, COVID-19 was still on the minds of many as they tried to get in some much needed rest and relaxation.
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, crowds returned to the island.
“This is great. Sun's out, beach is kicking. It doesn’t get any better than this," said Kelly Roberson, who is visiting from Fort Worth.
Lynn Terry moved to the island in August during the COVID-19 shutdown and has never seen the beaches so crowded.
She got her firsthand look at what Galveston has to offer as spring breakers move in.
“I’d like to see the island like this. It’ll bring it back to life and businesses will go back to normal," Terry said.
Visitors like Oscar Torrez and his family are here for a good time.
“It’s pretty cool. I think everybody is keeping their distance. This is our first time out anyways. We’ve been stuck at home the whole time, so I think it’s pretty nice,” Torrez said.
Lovely Williams is on vacation from New Orleans.
“It’s actually great to see the world functioning in some normalcy. I did miss seeing people out enjoying themselves," Williams said.
This is the first weekend since Texas lifted its mask mandate and reopened to 100 percent capacity.
Some are choosing not to wear face coverings.
"They can take care of themselves as far as whether they want to mask or not. It’s completely up to them. We don’t need the government entity to come out here and tell us you need a mask or you don’t need a mask," Roberson said.
Others like Williams are doing what they can to protect themselves.
“I stay my distance,” Williams said. “I judge no one. But I’m going to keep me safe. I can’t speak for you but I can speak for me and I’m going to stay safe.”
No matter what side of the mask debate they’re on the message this week is the same.
“Let’s have a great Spring Break 2021,” Williams said.