Fifteen major rivers and many hundreds of miles of smaller streams run across Texas, giving adventurers and anglers countless opportunities for exploration.
Photographer Laurence Parent captures the rugged splendor of the Lower Canyons
If you didn’t start thinking about your summer plans in February, don’t fret.
If you love Texas outdoors, how could you not know the Frio?
Well, maybe you’re one of the millions of newcomers who just got to Texas. Or perhaps you’ve lived in Texas your entire life and, unlike all those people whose families have been vacationing on the Frio for generations, you have no clue what or where they are talking about. Never stepped foot in Garner State Park? Think Concan is in Mexico? Well, pull up a chair and scoot closer.
Each evening between late February and late October, as the sun hits the horizon line, experts estimate that somewhere between 750,000 and 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats leave the nooks and crannies of this downtown bridge’s interior to go a-hunting. And each evening over that same eight-month span, hundreds of people line the bridge’s walkway, as well as any open spaces nearby, to take it all in. Most locals suggest claiming space hours before sunset in order to get a good view. But a few hours in the hot sun with nothing to do but wait? That seemed like a situation that would violate all three of our family getaway hopes fairly quickly.
For the colonists who settled Texas, the Colorado River represented boundless potential—lands thick with alluvial soils, timber, and game. But as the edge of civilization, the Colorado also meant danger—a treacherous obstacle that was prone to flooding, deadly to cross, and a harbor for native tribes.
Hill Country summer favorite Hamilton Pool has been reservations-only since 2016 due to the swimming hole’s popularity. But if you’re still looking for a scenic place to cool your heels, there’s a more secluded spot five minutes away.
Garner State Park, Lost Maples State Natural Area, and the surrounding Hill Country take you away from it all in the May edition of “A Piece of Texas” video series.