Upon entering Morgan’s Wonderland theme park in San Antonio, visitors are welcomed by a 25-foot-tall bronze sculpture of hands reaching skyward, releasing a butterfly.
The sun rises on a cloudless day in mid-October. On North Padre Island, a barrier island near Corpus Christi, my husband, Adrian, and I pack our striped beach bag with bright plastic buckets and trowels, fruit pouches and bottles of water.
Every May, after the bluebonnets had faded from the hills around Marble Falls, my classmates and I would pack sack lunches, board a diesel-powered school bus, and hit the road. The annual field trip was the last major educational event before the school year ended. Or was it?
A leader of the renaissance is the new, $125 million Austin Public Library’s Central Library, completed in 2017. This LEED Platinum-certified building—meaning it’s “green”—is outfitted with a bicycle corral for 200, a “tech petting zoo” for visitors to interact with new technology like 3-D printers, an art gallery, a native-plants rooftop garden, and a farm-to-table café. In 2018, Time magazine included the library on its list of the World’s Greatest Places. Austin’s showpiece is representative of a golden age of library innovation across the state. Here are three more libraries boasting smart, beautiful changes.
There was a time when most Texans lived over yonder. But over the past century, the percentage of Texans living in rural areas versus urban areas flipped: Today, 85 percent of us live in cities, while only 15 percent live in the country, according to the Texas Demographic Center.