Aerial view of the fabulous beach retreat of Gary C. Evans and Ashley Halsey prior to the extensive landscaping devastated by Irma.

August and September 2017 was unprecedented for hurricanes in the coastal areas of the U.S. and beyond. Harvey and Irma were the houseguests from hell.  These storms delivered a one-two punch we won’t soon forget.  Hurricane Harvey pummeled and parked over Houston, dumping torrential rains — leaving the core of Texas’ largest urban area a broken shell. The Texas Gulf Coast took a beating, too.

However, Irma was a bit more fickle.  She left a swath of destruction across Florida and beyond, but many of the damaged properties were vacation homes — “Second Shelters” we like to call them.  Here’s a look at how one Dallas couple weathered the storm, literally.  Their retreat, their happy place and sanctuary is located in Marathon, Florida, the middle key of the Florida Keys.  How they came through it, and what the future holds for the people and place is nothing short of inspirational.

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