Report from Hippie Hollow

One of the famous spots on Lake Travis is called Hippie Hollow. It is the only legally recognized clothing optional public park in the state of Texas. Some might call it a nude beach, although most of the park is on a steep, rocky bluff.

In the course of our duties today Steve Bowman and I were in the area and felt compelled to motor by. From the boat we could see a half dozen or so naked people either in the water or on the bank. One guy waved at us. But we stayed pretty far away so as not to embarrass the participants or ourselves. I can report we did not pull out the long camera lens or the binoculars for a closer view. I did suggest to Bowman that to fit in we might consider taking our own clothes off. He gave me a strong no on that one.

Here's a little more on Hippie Hollow from Wikipedia.

Hippie Hollow Park (originally known as McGregor County Park) is a park located on the shore of Lake Travis in northwest Austin. Though the land is owned by the Lower Colorado River Authority, it is leased to Travis County, whose Parks Department has administered the park since 1985.

Hippie Hollow has been used as a nude swimming spot for years, because the area was along a particularly remote section of the shoreline of Lake Travis. The area became more popular in the 1960s due to the cultural changes of that era, and after Woodstock, the nickname 'Hippie Hollow' was born. Hippie Hollow was controversial in the 1970s, due to increased skinny-dipping which generated complaints from adjacent landowners. Raymond Frank, the sheriff of Travis County from 1973–1980, determined that the county's law enforcement budget was better spent on more serious offenses, and skinny-dipping activities were generally ignored as long as no other laws were being broken.

In October 1983 the park site was leased to Travis County, and in October 1985 Hippie Hollow Park opened to visitors after some modest improvements and an extensive site clean-up by the county, replacing the former name of McGregor Park. The park continues as a clothing optional park, with appropriate signage at the park entrance advising visitors that nude swimming and sunbathing may be encountered. At one time the park was frequented by families, but many objected. On July 11, 1995 the county commissioners passed an ordinance restricting park usage to those over 18 years of age, as a result of Travis County Attorney Ken Oden's interpretation of nudity laws.

This ordinance was challenged in court by the Central Texas Nudists headed by Bob and Christine Morton, who, along with other naturist families, had been bringing their children to the site for years without incident. Part of Morton's argument was that the Texas Hill Country had been settled by many German and Czech immigrants in the middle-19th century, and nude sunbathing had been a part of their culture. An appeals court ruled in favor of the county in 1999, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case (Central Texas Nudists vs. Travis County) in October 2001. Hippie Hollow remains clothing optional, but with park usage restricted to those over 18.