Steve Simmons and his wife, Amy, the Austin ice cream queen, bought a ranch in the Smithville area 10 years ago to get away from the hustle.
There are niches of Texas football heritage elsewhere in the state.
Let’s start the week with baby steps, and get the 101 on fun activities such as geocaching, kayaking and even zombie apocalypse survival skills.
When burning up the highway between Dallas and Austin, it’s easy to pass through Hillsboro and see nothing more than modern gas stations and frontage-road shopping.
Watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit. No cookout or poolside outing is complete without it.
True Texas football fans we are.
We stand in lines, endure the swelter of early-season day games, and pay top dollar in donations and seat licenses to cheer our college and pro teams. We turn out to watch the local boys play under Friday-night lights, whether on six-man squads with bleachers set up next to pastures or suburban dynasties in multimillion-dollar stadiums.
When I was growing up in New York City, my father had a small farmhouse a couple of hours upstate from the Big Apple, where there was a rowboat and a pond rife with largemouth bass, yellow perch and pickerel, snapping turtles, bullfrogs, and the occasional muskrat.
Red sand flies across the arena as ranch cowboys show off the skills of their horses, which have colorful names like Loretta Lynn, Snake, Purr Cat, and Brandin’ Crew.
As a light rain falls, a crowd is gathering at Green’s Sausage House, a country café, meat market, and bakery in the tiny Czech community of Zabcikville, 10 miles east of Temple.
On a sleepy Thursday afternoon just after the lunch rush, Let’s Noodle, a hand-pulled noodle shop in Houston’s Chinatown area, is quiet except for the slurping noises coming from the restaurant’s communal table.
No television screens hang on the walls of The Saddle Club in Alpine. No loud music interrupts long and interesting conversations over classic cocktails and satisfying food.
When photographer Carolyn Tracy and I sign on to curate a guide to 100 of the best places to swim in the state, we know we are taking on a mighty task.