Matagorda Bay (mătəgôrˈdə) [key], inlet of the Gulf of Mexico, c.50 mi (80 km) long and from 3 to 12 mi (4.8–19 km) wide, SE Tex., protected by a long sandspit, Matagorda Peninsula. It receives the Colorado River and is crossed by the Intracoastal Waterway. Matagorda Island is a sandbar farther south at the entrance of San Antonio Bay. On the shore of Matagorda Bay is the site of the former town of Matagorda, which was settled in 1825 and served as a port for Stephen F. Austin's colony. Matagorda is known principally for fishing and oyster gathering. The area is often struck by hurricanes.