Discover Underwater Treasures with Texas Scuba Adventures in Galveston, Texas

Dive into the hidden underwater treasures of the Gulf of Mexico with Texas Scuba Adventures from Galveston, Texas, where vibrant coral reefs and fascinating marine life await beneath the surface.

Diving offshore in Galveston brings visitors to an underwater ecosystem different from most dive locales, and Texas Scuba Adventures’ day trips focus on two sites located roughly 70 miles offshore.

In 2019, Texas Scuba Adventures opened its doors in Galveston as an educational dive program designed to inspire a love of science in high school students through scuba. Since then, it has grown into the premier dive shop in Galveston and one of the very few that offers day trips to explore the stunning and protected Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary atlas map from

One of 15 national marine sanctuaries protected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is a wonderland of shallow water coral reefs, coralline algae community, and even reefs full of black coral and natural habitats.

“Because they are so far offshore and they are deeper dives, the reef is not accessed as often as other reefs like the Keys or Cozumel or places where you have divers out there every single day,” says Texas Scuba Adventures co-owner and National Association of Underwater Instructors member Kristen Maples. “You feel like you’re the only ones out there.”

The Flower Garden Banks is the only NOAA Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico, meaning scuba enthusiasts have a chance to experience a unique and exclusive exploration of a one-of-a-kind underwater destination.

For those looking to fill a day with adventures tinged with science and conservation, then Texas Scuba Adventures is a must-do with day trips, training, scuba rental and sales, snorkeling, spearfishing, and water sport equipment.

Deep Blue Sea

Diving offshore in Galveston brings visitors to an underwater ecosystem different from most dive locales, and Texas Scuba Adventures’ day trips focus on two sites located roughly 70 miles offshore.

After a three-hour boat ride to Stetson Bank, part of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, on the Kraken, a 371-foot cargo ship that Texas Parks and Wildlife sank as part of the artificial reef program, the dive begins at 60 feet with an average depth of 100 to 110 feet.

The Kraken trip brings divers into an open area of the shipwreck teeming with fish of all sizes from French angels to large jacks and grouper. Divers can swim in the dark blue waters of the Gulf before exploring the legs of an oil rig coated in sponge and coral growth.

The Flower Garden Banks reefs are the true jewel of the Gulf of Mexico, however. The overall coral coverage of the Banks is roughly 50%.

“A lot of other reefs only have 10 to 20% coverage, so it’s pretty amazing,” Maples says. “It’s also pretty amazing that we have this right off our coast in our backyard. You also get 100 feet of visibility and just the number and the size of some of the corals surpass places that get a lot of boat traffic, weather impacts, and even human impact.”

Passion Project

Both Maples and Texas Scuba Adventures founder Craig Shannon are passionate advocates for the Gulf and for protecting the waters around Galveston and beyond. Shannon has been a Professional Association of Diving Instructors Master Scuba Dive Trainer since 2001 and a NAUI Course Director since 2015. He has over 4800 hours diving since he started his career with the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in 2002. He started Texas Scuba Adventures as an educational program for students.

Maples is a biologist who worked in environmental toxicology labs, U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife population studies, animal husbandry with a specialty in octopuses and sharks, and environmental education.

The two grew the educational program, and while brainstorming new ideas in February 2019, they had a revelation—Galveston was missing a dive shop. After a bit of big dreaming, Shannon and Maples made a deal. If they could find a suitable location, they would open a dive shop within a year. Almost immediately, they stumbled upon a place just two doors down from the current dive shop and the deal was set.

“We now have a fantastic team of 21 people. That first year we started off in 400 square feet. Now we’re at about 2600 square feet.”

The team still hosts the educational program that contracts out to schools in the Houston area. In December 2023, more than 400 Australian students dove with Maples. “We also do international travels,” she says. In 2023, she took divers to Fiji to swim with whale sharks.

If you don’t know how to scuba dive yet, don’t worry. Texas Scuba Adventures also offers a wide variety of classes from beginner to instructor level. And don’t let the brownish water of the Gulf near the beaches fool you.

“In Mexico and places like Cozumel you get this cerulean blue waters, but in the Gulf you get a really pretty darker blue,” Maples says. “It’s so clear. When you get farther from the coastline, the waters are clear and see-through with so much abundant tropical marine life. It’s gorgeous.”

The scuba season opens in March. For more information or to book a class or day trip, visit

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