SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The San Marcos River is one of the only places to enjoy the water with so many other areas dried up from the drought.

But those with The Eyes of the San Marcos River said more visitors means more waste.

“The lack of flow in so many rivers across Central and West Texas is just driving people here and we’re seeing increased numbers. We’re seeing a lot more trash,” member of the group, Joshua Sarkardehi said.

The group has been picking up litter in and around the waters since 2014. But they said the issue has gotten worse.

Picture of dozens of bags filled with trash collected from the San Marcos River
The Eyes of the San Marcos River said it collected more than 40 bags of trash in one morning from the San Marcos River.

“People partying like you would see them at a bar on 6th Street on the river,” Sarkardehi said.

President of the group, Zach Halfin, said they find a little bit of everything when they’re cleaning.

“Cell phones. We find vapes. We find people’s portable speakers,” Halfin said.

Currently, glass beverage containers are prohibited on the river. They are hoping to expand that and place a ban on all single use containers.

“Anything that is only good for one use. Popping a can, a jello shot, a lot of these vapes,” Sarkardehi said.

Tom Goynes lives on the river and owns a campground there as well. He hopes new rules are added.

“It doesn’t look bad on the surface… but underneath. People drink em’ and sink em’,” Goynes said.

The City of San Marcos said there aren’t any new actions to restrict single use containers within their parks.

Halfin and Sarkardehi said they’ll continue collecting buckets and buckets of trash until something changes.

“It needs to be protected. It needs to be taken care of. It needs to be treated with respect cause its not,” Sarkardehi said.

Nearby cities like New Braunfels and Martindale both adopted “Can Bans” to prohibit disposable containers on the rivers.

Martindale City Councilmember Mike McClabb urges San Marcos to follow suit and adopt a similar measure.

“We have got to come out as a group and protect this beautiful river that’s been flowing for many many thousands of years,” McClabb said.

The City’s Parks and Recreation Department said river park usage has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but the amount of trash they’ve collected hasn’t significantly increased.