Joaquin Cortez calls Stephenville his “home base,” but when he’s not in Stephenville he’s traveling all over creating beautifully-detailed sand sculptures by hand and was commissioned to create one for Stephenville’s Independence Day celebrations.

Cortez said he got interested in sand sculpting in 2014 on a family vacation in South Padre where the Amazin’ Walter gave his family a lesson on how to make sandcastles.

“I’ve been an artist for most of my life and went to the Art Institute in Dallas and learned animation and built 3D models in the computer,” Cortez said. “I’ve done birthday presents with clay and messed around with sculpting before, but once I started sand sculpting, I started carving wood and doing concrete sculptures.”

Some may remember his eagle sand sculpture two years ago that was on display on the Fourth of July on Graham Street.

Cortez decided to do another at the intersection of Graham and E. South Loop to pay homage to Stephenville.

He uses just sand and water for his works.

“As a medium for building 3D, it’s pretty quick,” he said. “You can carve right through the sand so you’re able to work faster and be more creative. Texas has really good sand; it has a little bit of clay in it so it’s good sculpting sand.”

Cortez said he’s been more focused on concrete sculpting now and is in the process of creating three-leaf clovers for Dublin.

More information about Cortez and his work can be found online, at