Amid the hundreds of documentaries, dramas, comedies, and experimental films available for screening during South by Southwest’s film offerings this year, I chanced into a screening of YAKONA, an important and unusual film addressing one of Texas’ most imperiled resources: Water.
On a hot, muggy evening last summer, hundreds of people gathered inside the San Marcos Army Airfield hangar at the San Marcos Municipal Airport for the opportunity to go back in time. The day was June 6, and to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day, the Hays County Historical Commission premiered the 52-minute documentary Hays County in World War II. We all sat watching while surrounded by vintage aircraft, including a B-25 WW II bomber known as the Yellow Rose. The film included interviews with local veterans, and we gave those in attendance a standing ovation before and after the movie.
The high temperature had just peaked at 103. A historic drought gripped the entire state. But conditions couldn’t have been more perfect as I followed four other kayakers tooling around Spring Lake in San Marcos one summer evening last year. Seventy-degree spring-fed water provided all the natural air-conditioning we could want. A full moon rising above the trees illuminated the setting. As daylight faded, we paddled around a hidden bend where the limbs of trees hugging the shoreline sagged with dozens of white egrets.