I fish the Padre Island surf frequently. If the waves are low, I will work topwater lures such as Rapala Skitterwalks or Heddon Super Spooks, with walk the dog action. If you are familiar with how to fish that way, you will have a good chance of catching some nice fat tide running trout, and an occasional redfish, spanish mackerel, crevalle jack, bluefish or ladyfish as well. The fish you catch on those lures when they are actively feeding will more often than not be keepers. Spoons were mentioned by another above, and are good as well as twitch baits like Mirrodines or Rapala XRaps. Otherwise, especially this time of year, I would be fishing live finger mullet or large chunks or fish heads of fresh cut mullet or ladyfish on a fish finder rig with a 7/0 to 10/0 circle hook for slot or bull reds. There have been lots of sharks lately, so you might consider using a steel leader.
If you just want to relax and catch a few, a double drop rig fished with dead shrimp or fishbites may catch beaucoup whiting, and may snag a red or two as well.