As a reporter covering the Houston business beat in the 1990s, I was always struck by people’s references to “old money” and “new money,” and their compulsion to make such distinctions. The former inherited money from long-established, upper-class families with strong social connections. The latter got wealthy through hard work and innovation, but had little social standing, and were often thought — resentfully by old money — to overcompensate with flashy acquisitions.
When I moved to Galveston in 2000, I began to notice another kind of wealth, one I call “relaxed money.” It isn’t stuffy and it isn’t flashy. It’s understated, usually self-made and humble. Relaxed money’s acquisitions often revolve around enjoyment of natural resources — the bay, the Gulf of Mexico, lakes and waterways. People in the relaxed money camp — whether buying art, a boat or house — tend to genuinely enjoy and appreciate what they acquire. Buying for the sake of possessing is never the point. Relaxed money lives the good life, and is always gracious and grateful.
Money buys a lot and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. But when we think of the little luxuries of living on the upper Texas coast, beach walks and sunsets were the first that came to mind. Rich or poor, we can all appreciate and luxuriate in the natural beauty surrounding us.
Our list of the best things money can and can’t buy is subjective. Such lists always are. But we’re always willing to listen and we welcome your feedback.
Every month, Coast Monthly readers show us what the good life means to them by allowing us into their homes, or to feature their boats, cars and things that they love. They also share their photos in Shutterbugs, one of our favorite features and one we’ve expanded this issue to celebrate our theme. We enjoy them and hope you do, too.
Coast Monthly staffers would like to extend our sincerest thanks to several people and businesses that made our cover shoot a success.
First, we’d like to thank “Sailboat” Mike Shebester and Raul Smith of The Yacht Sales Company in Kemah. The men graciously took us out for a sail in Kemah on a Beneteau Sense 55, which is among the beauties for sale by the company. We’d also like to thank Jonathon Davis, owner and founder of The Yacht Sales Company, for making the introductions.
As you can see, our cover model, Nicole Mendell, is beautiful. But we’d also like to thank our styling team for their work on hair and makeup that enhanced Mendell’s beauty. We were lucky to have on board for this shoot hair stylist Rebecca Rivera and makeup artist Daya Gracia, both of Total Technique Salon in Texas City.
Also deserving of special thanks is Coast Monthly’s Creative Director/Design Editor Melissa Rivera for selecting Mendell’s wardrobe.
Finally, we extend a special thanks to Chula Ross Sanchez and family for allowing us to use one of their charming casitas on Offatts Bayou for our Down the Hatch photo shoot.