Textures of the Washington Coast: Ocean Shores and Cape Disappointment Beaches

foggy day at Cape Disappointment beach

Logs collect at the high tide mark at the beach at Cape Disappointment State Park.

Enjoy these textures of the Washington State coast, free for artists and graphic designers to use in your commercial and personal creative projects (with attribution, see bottom of post).

Washington’s Pacific coastline has sandy beaches, uncommon for those of us based in Seattle. The lapping, rising and falling water of the Pacific Ocean wears the sand into innumerable patterns: stripes, diamonds, ridges, ripples, triangles. Sand is dark, light, or mottled. Grains of different weights settle separately, forming patches of color and tone.

Ocean Shores beach sand texture

Waves leave an overlapping pattern on the sand in Ocean Shores, WA

Cape Disappointment beach sand texture

So many layers of textures in the sand – tones of light and dark, faint diamonds, poetic squiggles like icing.

Cape Disappointment beach sand texture

Subtle color variations in the sand create a visual rippling effect at Cape Disappointment State Park.

Cape Disappointment beach sand texture

Light stripes in the sand at Cape Disappointment State Park.

Cape Disappointment beach sand texture

A skein of shaky stripes in the sand at Cape Disappointment State Park.

The sand becomes textured, carved by wind and water.

Ocean Shores beach sand texture

Rippled sand on the beach in Ocean Shores, WA.

Cape Disappointment beach sand texture

Deeply rippled wet sand seems to melt towards the ocean at Cape Disappointment State Park.

Ocean Shores beach sand texture

Sand forms grooves at Ocean Shores, WA.

Some sand is fine, some coarse. Sometimes the sand is unmarred, sometimes pebbles disrupt the smooth surface. Sometimes you find pebbly beaches, more like those in the Puget Sound area.

Ocean Shores beach sand texture

Dark sand and light sand meet on the beach at Ocean Shores, WA.

Ocean Shores beach pebble texture

Pebbles of many colors form a dark textured beach in Ocean Shores, WA.

Ocean Shores beach sand texture

Pebbles caught in the tide divide the retreating water, forming dark triangles of sand. Ocean Shores, WA.

Wind and waves are not the only things to mark the sand. Animals leave footprints or secret signs of their presence. Dripping water indents the surface. Logs and branches form windbreaks that catch the sand, creating interesting patterns, slopes, and shapes.

Ocean Shores beach sand texture

Creatures beneath the sand create air paths to the surface during low tide at Ocean Shores, WA.

Cape Disappointment beach sand texture

Drips from the overhanging rock dent the sand just like a balpeen hammer textures metal.

On the beach, only grasses and other plants tough enough to handle the harsh conditions survive, pressed into orderly lines or ruffled into disarray by the wind.

Ocean Shores grass texture

A tangle of beach grasses in green and tan and yellow at Ocean Shores, WA.

Ocean Shores grass texture

Beach grass at Ocean Shores forms beautiful vertical lines.

Tree trunks and smaller pieces of wood, washed ashore, are worn by their journey through the salty water and the harsh sea breezes that blast sand into the logs.

Ocean Shores beach wood texture

A weathered and scorched log wears its history on its surface, a second life after the tree’s death, at Ocean Shores, WA.

Ocean Shores beach wood texture

A beach log in Ocean Shores carries scorch marks from beach fires and orange that looks like rust. The colors remind me of the storms of Jupiter.

Ocean Shores beach and wood texture

Weathered wood, buried by sand, becomes nearly the same color over the years as it sits in the salt and wind. Ocean Shores, WA.

About This Texture Collection

Photos in this texture collection were taken by Tracy Durnell in 2015 and 2016 at Cape Disappointment State Park, along the Columbia River on the southwestern tip of Washington, and Ocean Shores, a small beach town on the northern side of Grays Harbor.

Attribution

sealThe 18 texture photographs on this page by Tracy Durnell are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please feel free to use these photos for any creative work as long as you clearly attribute them to Tracy Durnell. If you use one of my images, please let me know in the comments section, I’d love to see your work! (Please do not resell the photos as-is, either individually or in a collection – I am sharing them for free to help other artists and designers create new work inspired by Washington’s amazing outdoors.)

More Free Textures for Artists and Graphic Designers

Enjoy these textures? Check out my other free texture collections from Washington State:

Textures of the Teanaway: Ponderosa Pine and Plants

Textures of Mount Rainier: Bark and Wildflowers

Textures of the Subalpine Pacific Northwest: Foliage and Weathered Wood

Textures of the Pacific Northwest Lowland Forest

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About Tracy Durnell

Seattle-area graphic designer and SFF writer inspired by the Pacific Northwest, crafting a sustainable and intentional life.

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