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Written by Lois Rodriguez

Makers Hat cmykWhen Patricia Wolf was a little girl growing up in Pennsylvania, she often fell asleep at night gazing at the posters of Western landscapes she’d put on her wall, thinking: “Someday, I’ll live in Texas.”

Makers Glove cmykIn the 1960s, when former Nokona CEO “Big Bob” Storey was asked why he wasn’t buying from overseas to make his sporting equipment, he famously said, “If I have to import and send my employees home, I would rather just quit and go fishing.”

Makers Bike cmykBehind his house in central Austin, in a tiny space decked out with machinery, an industrial oven, and a peg-board holding tools and designs, Nick Crumpton transforms the raw material of carbon fiber into sleek, lightweight riding machines.

Joseph Hopps, Arbor Castle Birdhouses

"If you want to find out how to do something, you just have to start doing it,” says artist Joseph Hopps in his low East Texas drawl. “And if you are lucky, you will find someone along the way who knows more about it than you do.”

Makers SmallShirt cmykRobin’s egg linen, yellow seersucker, blue madras … The fabric options for a custom-made Dos Carolinas’ guayabera are as varied and inviting as the colors in a crayon box.

Makers Hands cmykAs familiar as bluebonnets and Dairy Queen, the Aermotor windmills that dot the Texas countryside are such a fixture that you might overlook them. But take note. These graceful machines turning in the wind have been hydrating Texas’ arid lands for generations, faithfully drawing water from as deep as 1,500 feet underground.

Illustration by Michael Witte

I was in Tucson’s international airport circa 1984 on my way to Mexico to join a press trip being hosted by a new beach resort. I was young and delighted to be earning something close to a living writing about food and travel.

Concepcion-Bike

You can’t blame folks for donning coonskin caps and partaking in the tourist tradition that is San Antonio’s River Walk. However, if the Alamo and surrounding area are all you ever see of the “Alamo City,” you’re missing out. I embarked on a southbound adventure, and my view of San Antonio will never be the same.

Denton cmyk

2Forty minutes north of the rapidly growing cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, the college town of Denton (population 121,000, more or less) enjoys a relaxed vibe that some admirers liken to “Austin in the old days.”

WacoSuspensionBridge

3For those unfamiliar with Waco, the little city in the heart of Texas might be tough to decipher.

Government Canyon State Natural Area in Bexar County has more than natural beauty on its side, it has natural history, too. In an area that was once the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico, 110-million-year-old dinosaur tracks, possibly the only known dinosaur footprints on public land, have been discovered.

fried-food1Does it make sense to batter and fry a perfectly delicious loaded baked potato? If you’re at the State Fair, the “Fried Food Capital of Texas,” would you have it any other way?

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