SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The ecosystem that lives in the clear waters of Spring Lake in San Marcos is magical but can be hard to see if you’re just standing by the shore.

At the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, glass-bottom boats can give you the experience of seeing what happens below the surface of the water. The nonprofit is in the process of restoring five boats in its fleet at a cost of $100,000 for each boat.

The oldest boat, which was built in 1945, recently finished being restored with a custom, fiberglass composite hull. The center expects to restore one boat a year until they’re all complete.

“We want these boats to last forever so my grandchildren can come and take a glass bottom boat,” says Miranda Wait, assistant manager at Spring Lake Educational Operation.

Spring Lake and Aquarena Springs gets its water from the Edwards Aquifer. There are eight known species listed as endangered or threatened that live in the San Marcos region of the Edwards Aquifer, Spring Lake and the upper four miles of the San Marcos River.

The center gives daily tours of the waterway and Wait says the view never gets old. For people who have been coming for the past 70 years, there is something new to learn every time.

“They get to see how we’ve grown and how we’re trying to help protect our precious resources while preserving the heritage of San Marcos,” says Wait.An adult ticket is $9.75. Children under the age of 2 get in free.

Glass-bottom boats at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment in San Marcos. (KXAN Photo)