Address: San Marcos City Park, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA
Telephone Number: 512-396-5466
Official Website: www.tubesanmarcos.com
Facebook: San Marcos Lions Club Rental / Tube San Marcos
Rental Rate: $12 per single tube. Credit card deposit is required. Local discount at second tube 50% off.
Others: Storage box at $5.
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00am – 7:00pm, Thursday 11:30am-8:30pm. Last tube rental 90 minutes before closing hour. Last shuttle pickup 30 minutes before closing hour.
How to get to San Marcos River and directions:
Take exit #205 on IH-35 west onto HWY 80 (Hopkins St.). Turn right on Charles Austin Dr. then left on Jowers St. directly behind Strahan Coliseum. Follow the signs to City Park. (Source: www.tubesanmarcos.com)
San Marcos River Tubing: Easiest Way to Experience Tubing in Texas
I’m not a physically active person. Ask my friends and they will tell you I’m the laziest person when it comes to exercising. The only time I will get motivated to exercise is when a VR headset is strapped to my head. Likewise for physical activities, I played volleyball in my teens, when hitting the ball as high up as I can was entertaining and when none of my teammates can serve. And hiking? I’m not a fan of hiking if it’s not safe.
No thanks, I’ll stick to eating. You burn calories when you eat, right?
So when our Texan friend decided to take us tubing, my first thought was – “What the heck is tubing?” Gullible me, I decided to tag along, and we left all of our belongings inside the car because my friend said it will get soaking wet. We brought with us a single iPhone 7, our only ticket in case something goes wrong.
I was extremely nervous because I didn’t know what was happening and we boarded an old school bus that transported us to San Marcos River. Wearing my flip flops, I didn’t feel secured but I trusted our friend anyways.
By the river, there was nobody in sight. We picked up tubes, lifebuoys that can fit your waist. F*ck it. I am just gonna do this.
We forgot to look for tubes that had handles on them, and we forgot everything – a rope that can tie all of us together. Some of the tubes had ropes on them, but they were short. After tying them several times while floating, we gave up and all of us had to swim on our own. The water was about 3 feet deep. You couldn’t drown if you wanted to.
My favorite part was floating, not the part when I saw several mosquitoes touching the meniscus of the water. I had to push away from the vines or some river monster is going to eat me alive. Just kidding. It was safe. Occasionally, other locals would float past you, carrying with them a cooler filled with beer. Damn it. We forgot the beer. Our friend forgot to bring his cooler.
“Well, it’s the best thing to do when in Texas.” One local said, when he asked what we were up to. We didn’t fit in and all of us looked like tourists.
Another guy tossed a can of beer to us and we had one can of beer to share for all 6 of us.
Hours passed and I was already drenched in my sweat, sunscreen and water. Even with sunscreen I think I was getting sunburned. One of my friends was soaking wet. He slipped from his tube.
Along the way, I lost my flipflop. My friend assured me that when we reach the shore, it will be there. I believed him until I realized that I really lost my flipflop. I had to pick up someone else’s lost shoe for me to get to the parking lot without my feet touching the hot pavement.
Lessons learned from hours of tubing, here are my list of things you need to bring when tubing in San Marcos River or tubing in Texas:
– Sunscreen (Spray Can)
– Cooler with lots and lots of beer and snacks (if it’s not disgusting for you)
– Leave your stuff behind. Don’t bring anything.
– Leave your flipflops. Go barefoot or wear hiking sandals with straps.
– Check out tubes for any hole. Tubes with handles are better.