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Written by Lois Rodriguez

Photo © Theresa DiMenno

Over our 40 years as a travel magazine, we’ve been “Wowed by Wildflowers,” sowed “The Seeds of Spring,” joined in the “Dance of the Wildflowers,” and gawked at “The Great Texas Bloom Boom.” Our various themes have included thoughts from such diverse observers as Moravian-born author Karl Anton Postl, who in the mid-1800s described a Texas prairie “as if clothed with rainbows that waved to and fro,” and a modern-day fourth-grader from Woodville, who penned, “Thousands of blooming hands reaching in the sun … Marching through the meadow with hearts aglow.”

Photo by J. Griffis Smith Driving to Fredericksburg from the east on US 290, it’s easy to notice that spring adores the Hill Country: This oak-studded landscape is a hot spot for wildflowers—bluebonnets, firewheels, black-eyed Susans, and others color the vistas like a painting come to life, while roadside stands open in anticipation of peaches, tomatoes, blackberries, and other seasonal bounty coming to market.

The road to artist Philip John Evett’s Hill Country home runs along and across the Blanco River, past majestic live oaks and fields of goats. Tucked among these oak, cedar, and cactus-scrabbled hills, Evett’s art gallery showcases a range of his uncanny creations—drawings dreamed onto paper and sculpture seduced from wood—that reflect the life, work, and journey of the artist’s 91 years.

It was a case of mistaken identity. I thought I was Wendish, a descendant of that group of Eastern Europeans who fled religious oppression by the Prussian government in the 1850s.

About 30 years ago, a trailblazing soap opera about a greedy, glamorous, and volatile Texas family captivated millions of viewers around the globe.

From a sheltered platform more than 40 feet high, I step out into darkness, my heart beating a little faster than usual. The zipline cable from which I hang hums as I gather speed, cool air rushing past my face.

In a past life I wrote for Bon Appétit and other national food magazines—and the benefits such a career confers can be, to say the least, filling. Nowadays, I truly prefer smaller pleasures, like breakfast tacos from small-town cafés; pizza by the slice; and deviled eggs from the Cottonseed Café & Deli in Martindale.

When Houston Businessman Jesse H. Jones approached the federal government for money to help build the San Jacinto Monument in La Porte, it took a little ingenuity to get Uncle Sam to open his wallet.

Cat Spring must have seemed like a dream come true for the German immigrants who settled the community in the 1830s.

Babs Rodriguez’s son becomes a true-bluebonnet Texan in the April 2014 installment of Travel Matters. Here’s the full story.

Illustration by Michael Witte

Last April I set out to experience the Granbury Wine Walk, an annual wine and food celebration that not only showcases more than a dozen Texas wineries but also highlights one of the most interesting little towns in Texas.

At 10 a.m. on a recent Saturday at Casa Brasil Coffees in Austin, I’m sitting at an L-shaped bar scattered with glass tumblers filled with different types of coffee beans. I’ve been issued a blank book for note-taking and a five-page review packet with a quiz on the final page, but the Brazilian music playing in the background mellows the scholarly mood.

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