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Written by Texas Highways

Backstage Whitewater 1Whitewater Amphitheater has been called the Red Rocks of Texas, because like the Colorado concert favorite, the 5,600-capacity venue on the Guadalupe River is set into a glorious natural landscape. Both employ highest quality sound and lights and attract top talent.

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Observing bats emerge from their roosts is one of the most exciting encounters that nature has to offer. Texas happens to be the perfect place to capture the seemingly choreographed exodus. Here are a few.

MermaidTank1It’s not every community that can fondly recall the good ol’ days when mermaids would swim and play in the local waters, but San Marcos can. And lately, the city has been doing more than just remembering its quirky history with these aquatic maidens. There is, once again, a thriving mermaid culture throughout San Marcos because, after a bit of an absence, the mermaids have returned.

DudeRanch817Even the quality of light looks different here, I think, watching as my boys amble down from a rusty wagon, whooping and hollering among the horses, donkeys, and a lone pot-bellied pig at Rancho Cortez in Bandera.

Chisholm Trail buffs frequently clash over the trail’s history, beginning with a basic question of whether it ever really was in Texas. The hubbub peaked in 2001, when reaction to a Texas Historical Commission brochure attracted the attention of a New York Times reporter.


Ever since the 1999 debut of his first album, Singer/Songwriter, country crooner Aaron Watson has been blazing his own trail up the charts with songs that draw from his hometown roots and Texas musical heritage. Watson began writing songs and playing guitar as a teenager in his hometown of Amarillo. After attending Abilene Christian University, he ventured to Nashville to try his luck with the major record labels. But the labels told him that his sound— modern honky-tonk with splashes of rock, gospel, and Tejano—lacked commercial appeal.

KLEPPER SA MURALS 09After crossing Alazan Creek via Guadalupe Street on San Antonio’s West Side, you’ll traverse a neighborhood characterized by locally run shops known as tienditas, pretty Catholic churches, 1920s shotgun homes, and the occasional turn-of-the-century Queen Anne ornamentation. With a glance back toward the city center, you’ll see shade-lined streets framing surprising views of city icons—Tower of the Americas, Marriott Rivercenter, Tower Life Building—all appearing close enough to poke witha stick. But what really distinguishes the neighborhood is its mural collection, featuring 53 murals to date, splashed across its shop facades, community centers, and brick walls. More than mere artworks, the murals serve to illustrate cultural selfhood, celebrating the neighborhood’s Chicano character and laying claim to a distinctly Mexican-American identity; flags planted, bright and colorful as papel picado.

TX Stadium Final1I experienced 10 of the most exciting minutes of soccer I’ve ever seen in my life—and I watch a lot of soccer—inside Frisco’s Toyota Stadium on a cool November night in 2015.


When the rumbling of your stomach becomes louder than the 18-wheelers roaring past, options for an interesting meal along the interstate are challenging at best. The mind-numbing sameness that comes from a steady stream of golden arches, latte meccas, and convenience marts makes the notion of satisfying from-scratch food—served in a memorable setting—seem impossible.

BlackiesThe first time I walked into Blackie’s Bait Shop and spotted the blue marlin replicas hanging on the walls and a surfboard standing up in the corner, I turned to my husband and said quizzically, “Dan, we’re not in Walnut Springs anymore.” We weren’t in a bait shop, either.

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