Fort Worth, Texas
Karl Herpel got his start in sand sculpting in 1998 when he was invited to spend a few days on South Padre Island. Never having been there before, he surfed the Internet for things to do in the area and quickly discovered a tutorial on the art of sandcastling (thank you, Sandy Feet). Armed with a small painter’s bucket, cup, spoon and spatula, he spent the next two days playing on the beach – in the rain – during a “red tide” – and loving every minute of it. Two years later Karl started competing and would eventually attend festivals on both the Texas and Florida Gulf coasts.
Karl says, “Before I started sand sculpting, I had no great desire to be on the beach. Getting a tan was boring and unhealthy. When you wear glasses as I do, swimming is not so much fun either. I grew up near the Jersey shore and the water was always COLD. However, architecture on the beach is another thing altogether. The combination of engineering and art stimulates both halves of my brain, much like my vocation – computer programming – and my avocation – music.”