Oh and one more thing, what are the laws about camping on Texas beaches?
Depends on the beach, I think. I'm not up to speed on the Galveston area.
If you're gonna be surfing in CC or Port A, you can buy a Nueces County beach parking pass for $12 which allows you to camp on the beaches there for free up to 3 consecutive nights. You'll need that pass to park on the beach anyway.
If you're surfing near Port A, I think anywhere on the open beach is OK, just stay a reasonable distance away from people (surfers and swimmers) until you know what you're doing. Horace Caldwell is pretty mellow as long as you're not a total out of control kook. St. Joe's can be good, esp. if there is SE windswell and everything else is blown out. It's not so crowded, but a hassle to get there as you have to take the jetty boat.
I like Packery Channel a lot but it's a more crowded lineup and I'd probably avoid for a while if you are a rank beginner. I hear Bob Hall's pretty crowded and not beginner-friendly, though I have not surfed there yet.
And, not sure what your friend was thinking. Probably want to stay out of San Luis Pass on your board. A large area of water drains through that when the tide goes out. Plus, deep water and fresh food (see previous sentence) means high probability of running into those big fish with teeth.
Stick to the beaches. Like the other posters said, Texas is pretty chill crowd-wise. Grab a board, paddle out and have fun.
Call Brian Jarvis from C-Sick surfing in Galveston. Take a lesson for $50. and save yourself a load of time trying it alone. He teaches surf lessons on 43rd street in Galveston. His number is 409.770.9455. He is on fb and has as web site. Google C-Sick surfing. Tell him Sydney sent you.
You can camp on the beaches on South Padre Island, Texas outside of the City limits. It costs $3 to drive on the beach, and you are allowed to camp overnight. We have some great surf here, and the spring season is a good time of year to visit for surf!