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New This Year!

Master Solo Sculptors


The Glue That Holds Us Together 

Suzanne Altamare started working as a professional Sand Sculptor in 1982. She learned from her late husband Marc Altamare who was one of the early pioneers of sand sculpting in the United States.


In 2008 she began working as sculptor coordinator for Texas SandFest after working on several other large sand events and contests including 3 years with the World Championships of Sand. Coordinating sand sculptors is like herding cats.


In addition to sand sculpting, she paints rocks carves small clay pieces and creates sand casts out of molding plaster. She works on special events and in Daytona came up with Chihuahua de Mayo which was an extremely popular event.


At home she loves to Garden and boogie board but beyond anything else she is simply a lowly cat slave serving a Trap Neuter Return colony of 24 cats.

Master Solo Sculptors


New this year! The Celebrity Corner featuring Master Sand Sculptor Walter McDonald... Amazin' Walter: The oldest Sand Sculptor in captivity!


I’m Amazin’ Walter aka, Walter McDonald, Grand Pooh-Bah of the Sons of the Beach. 


Since I was a kid I’ve been compelled to make stuff. Sitting on the sand bar at the Boy Scout Camp, the kid next to me said “watch this” and proceeded to make a ‘dribble tree’. Roll forward to 1978, “watch this” I told my friends, and I was hooked on the sandy beaches of South Padre Island.


Now, in my second, maybe third childhood I still have that compulsion to make stuff.   I carve bone and antler, make jewelry, write and play music, perform magic and balloon sculpting and photography.


But it’s sand that has taken over my life. I have won medals in master level sand sculpting competitions including the World Championships and for 40 years I have traveled to build sand castles and conducted workshops in far away places like China, Japan, Belgium, Holland, Bermuda, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Taiwan, Qatar, Australia,  Singapore and all over the USA.  I produce my own line of sand sculpting tools and have taught hundreds of others how to build a better sand castle. 


The immediate and fragile characteristics of sand as an art medium challenges me and feeds my fantasies. I’m honored to share this passion with an international community of “sand gypsy” friends.  Why castles? It is traditional and it still excites me to hear a casual observer comment, “now that’s a real sand castle”! 


Sons of the Beach Pledge; I promise to: Have FUN, help others have FUN, and UNLITTER!

Master Solo Sculptors


Master Sand Sculptors Lucinda and Emerson

Team SandyFeet is composed of Lucinda Wierenga (Founder of SandyFeet Sandcastle Services, South Padre Island) and Emerson Schreiner (Galveston Branch). This Aunt/Nephew duo has long been a staple of Sandfest and have placed in the team category multiple times over the past decade. This year, the pair will build a Photo Op Demo Sculpture, sponsored by Sandcastle Island, Inc. — “SII” ( — a South Padre Island-based non-profit organized to promote and support sand sculpture all over Texas.


Lucinda has won a modest amount of international fame with her sandsculpting skills, carving at major contests and festivals world over since 1987. She has taught generations of SPI visitors how to build a better sandcastle — and has reached untold numbers more with her best-selling book, “Sand Castles Made Simple.” Along with Amazin’ Walter, she helped establish SPI Sandcastle Days ( back in 1987, and she continues to be an event organizer and competitor. 


Originally from West MI, Emerson is a painter and sand sculptor offering sandcastle lessons and beach billboard services in the Galveston area. He has competed - both duo and solo - since 2015 and has taken home prizes in several Master's events, including Siesta Key’s Crystal Classic, Texas Sand Fest, and SPI Sand Castle Days.


SandyFeet's current labor of fun is the South Padre Island Holiday Sandcastle Village ( — an ever-changing sandsculpture gallery featuring the works of some of the most talented artists on the planet. Voluntary donations from the village exhibit fund SII’s activities and sponsorships - including Team SandyFeet’s appearance at 2023 Sandfest.


They are very much looking forward to reconnecting with their fellow sculptors and Port Aransas friends!

Master Solo Sculptors



Master Sand Sculptor Fred Mallet


Captain Fred Mallett has been carving sand in competitions and events for well over 20 years, though lately spending more time running other peoples boats to fund his new calendar project and pay for his fishing gear habit.

 Some say he is looking more fishy as he ages.  Most are are aware that he bites more often, thus he is most frequently found behind a fence.

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