Just a few days ago I took the following photo standing on the edge of Ride the Wind's parking area, looking out toward Silver Lake harbor. If you zoom in you can see the small Meeker cottage (with porch) on the left, between the first break in the trees and shrubs. On the other side of the larger shrub in the center you can see the former US Coast Guard Station (now the NC Center for the Advancement of Teachers).
The following photo, taken from about the same location, is a post card from sometime in the late 1950s. The Meeker cottage and the US Coast Guard station are clearly visible in the distance, as is the old store and post office (extreme right) and the Community Store (to the left of the store/post office), the tower of Berkley Manor, and Jack Willis' store (now the Working Watermen's Exhibit) further to the left.
Without vintage photos it is difficult to image the amount of vegetation that has grown up on Ocracoke (in spite of periodic flooding) over the last 50-60 years.