"It's an authentic coastal town," says Dean Johnstone, owner of the Roseate Spoonbill Gallery.
"There are an awful lot of people who were born and raised here and they share a common experience of growing up on the water.
Since the 1840s, Port Lavaca's economy has been centered on the bay."
Dean's gallery on historic Main Street, just a few blocks from the bay, is the perfect place to see what that means.
Actually, the gallery is two art spaces connected by a breezeway filled with tropical plants and garden art.
In one building, you can enjoy works by area artists including Dean; in the other, you can step back in time to early 20th century Port Lavaca via a collection of vintage photographs that have been restored and reproduced by Dean
The collection, reproductions of which are also for sale, amounts to a priceless archive of Port Lavaca's past.
Views of the town's harbor and historic buildings abound, as do ones of surrounding communities.
"The beauty of Port Lavaca is that you can look at a photo from 1910 in the gallery and then drive over and see the same spot today," says Dean
, who honed his
skills as a photographer and digital artist in his
former life as a petroleum geologist with companies from Houston to Corpus Christi.