Story by Eryn Reddell Wingert
Photos Special to Welcome Home
When asked ‘Why choose the R.G.V.?’ Karen Price simply states, in her distinct southern drawl, “It’s just fun!” In 1999, after retiring from teaching, Karen and her husband, Jerry, left their home state of North Carolina to travel by R.V. During a stop in Nova Scotia, Canada, they met a couple who raved about South Texas. “They told us we had to come down here; we had no clue.” The Prices came down in 2001, spent three winters here, and eventually became permanent residents, also known as Converted Texans.
Karen shares how they have visited other states known for warmer winters but fell in love with the Rio Grande Valley because it’s more economical, and they wanted to dance. Yes, dance. “All we knew was South Carolina beach music, the shag. We wanted to learn the Texas two-step.” When the Prices made the decision to enjoy the local amenities year-round, they found their permanent home at Sunshine Country Club Estates in Harlingen when they visited for a dance.
The Rio Grande Valley, or RGV, is located at the southern tip of Texas, bordering Mexico. The region is made-up of four counties: Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy, and Cameron. It’s home to approximately 300 RV parks and resorts. The cost of living tops the list of its many appealing qualities. In 2020, U.S. News & World Report referred to the city of McAllen--located in Hidalgo County--as having the lowest cost of living for a metro city in the United States.