San Marcos River, TX

This recently completed whitewater park in San Marcos, Texas, is one of many noteworthy achievements by S2O Principal Scott Shipley. The San Marcos River has long impacted the local economy by attracting visitors to its banks and waters. In order to enhance this existing experience the project was tasked with rebuilding the failing Rio Vista Dam, located at the heart of this recreational hub, with a design solution tailored to preserve and enhance existing use by swimmers, tubers, boaters and spectators.

The new park, designed by Shipley for another design firm, provides a recreational amenity that has since attracted thousands of tourists and locals, benefiting the city’s economy. In addition, by removing the failing concrete sidewalls and grading the river banks, the project design reduced the dam replacement cost from $1.8 million to less than $500,000 in a project that was completed in under four months.

Project highlights:

  • Repaired a failing dam.Increased recreational usage by pedestrians, tubers and boaters
  • Drastically reduced the project cost by removing concrete walls and grading the bank. (cost savings: $1.3 million)
  • Major aesthetic improvement to existing river corridor