|In the United States, population growth and domestic migration is placing increasing pressure on natural landscapes and the array of ecosystem services they afford. The growth has given rise to the paradox of resource depletion through fragmentation and development while at the same time increasing the demand and need for these resources. In the context of publicly available nature-based recreation opportunities (e.g., protected areas, preserves, parks, lakes, rivers) lying near growing urban centers, the pressure can be particularly acute. Increased demand for these resources has led to ecological and social impacts. The diminished service quality increases human exposure to pollutants (e.g., water, air, noise), and stressors (e.g., conflict, crowding) within these environs. Given the array of psycho-social and physical benefits afforded by nature-based recreation opportunities, the depletion in service quality has potentially troubling implications for human wellbeing. In the context of aquatic opportunities (e.g., rivers, lakes) concern is exacerbated by both the limited availability of accessible resource substitutes and limited capacity to acquire or develop additional resources. Vaske and Shelbys (2008) meta-analysis of social carrying capacity research conducted in the context of nature-based recreation resources illustrated that for boating as a general participation category, of the 66 investigations conducted in the 30 years leading up to their analyses, 20 percent of respondents considered the condition encountered “greatly over capacity” of the resources ability to accommodate demand. When broken down into more specific aquatic categories, such as canoeing, those considering the resource demand “greatly over capacity” jumps to 50 percent. In this investigation, we document residents perceptions of shifting use patterns of an aquatic nature-based resource situated within the Austin MSA – Lake Travis – over an eight-year period from 2008 to 2016. Specifically, we examine the drivers of residents perceptions of setting density on the lake along with the cognitive and behavioral coping strategies they employ to maintain psychological homeostasis in conditions of rapid social and ecological change.