The beach that gives Playa del Carmen it's name is in a constant state of flux. Normal erosion and hurricanes take their toll, and man-made efforts try to hold those forces at bay. Right now, the beach is reasonably deep, thanks to a major dredging effort from a few years ago. That work initially resulted in a very deep beach area, a big improvement from years past where the lounge chairs for rent ended right where the water began, making walking along the beach something of a chore. There is definitely room to walk this year, though the ocean is doing its best to reclaim the land. This is an image looking north along the beach, close to where we are staying (we are not directly on the beach).
Off in the distance, you can see one of the big piers in town. This next image is looking back south from there.