Mary Kumpe has enjoyed and continues to take advantage of all South Padre Island happenings. Kumpe, who has lived on the Island all her life, is happy to have raised two daughters there. Her daughter Dorothy, 36, also lives on the island, while Lily, 21, now resides in Australia. “Dorothy loves to surf and do outdoorsy things on the beach because this is our home and we like to enjoy all parts of the Island,” Kumpe said.
Having worked at K’s Jewelry and Beads off Padre Boulevard has taught Kumpe a lot about the people who visit the area. “I’ve been working here ever since it opened up 30 years ago, and I enjoy seeing all types of people come in,” she said. “We talk and it’s nice to live the island life, making friends with customers throughout the years.” In her spare time, Kumpe enjoys walking her dog along the beach. “He loves feeling the sand beneath his little paws, and we walk out there every single day,” she said of her light brown poodle. Her four-legged companion greets customers at the bead shop, while Kumpe is the creative force in helping customers look good with jewelry and hair wraps. Being outgoing and creative, Kumpke also enjoys shelling.
“I love to look for different kinds of shells. My favorite to collect are the sand dollars,” she said adding that she uses some in jewelry at the shop. Kumpe enjoys promoting Island life and community events, and enjoys many Winter Texan activities. “A lot of people don’t take advantage of the music on the Island,” Kumpe says, about various music happenings that begin in September and October, when the city will close streets so that the community can enjoy an evening of live blues, jazz and country music.
“Every Friday and Saturday night, I’ll go out there with my dog and my lawn chair to listen to the music right here behind Louie’s Backyard,” she continues. “My good friend, Charlie Brommer helps put together these city events and boy do I enjoy them all. Life on the Island never gets old she says, “There is always something fun and entertaining to do.” Although she has been a life-long resident of the Island, Kumpe manages to keep a fresh perspective on life, living it to the fullest on the Island, and encouraging others to visit and enjoy her little piece of paradise.