Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note: Trailblazers

March 26, 2024 | By

Inspiring travel is Texas Highways’ lodestar. But within that broader mission, there has been a lot of room for nuance in our coverage over the decades, spanning the state’s history, culture, and distinctive character.

Editor’s Note: The Primrose Path

February 27, 2024 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Wildflowers first graced our cover in June 1974. The photo by Jack Lewis featured a field of pink evening primrose and Indian paintbrush in Round Top.

Editor’s Note: 50 Years on the Road

January 2, 2024 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Welcome to the 50th year of Texas Highways! As a staff, we’re honored to shepherd the magazine through this milestone year, one that would not be possible without loyal readers like you.

Editor’s Note: 2023 Yearbook

November 21, 2023 | By

Photographer Christ Chávez had never been to a powwow before attending The Austin Powwow last year to capture the festivities for our November issue.

Editor’s Note: To the Top

October 24, 2023 | By Emily Roberts Stone

The stories in this Panhandle special issue invalidate the stereotype of the region as a place you drive through on your way to somewhere else.

Editor’s Note: Chronicler of the Curious

September 19, 2023 | By Emily Roberts Stone

This issue includes our last story by inimitable Houston writer John Nova Lomax, who died in May at age 53.

Editor’s Note: Outlaw Spirit

August 22, 2023 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Editor’s Note: Tall Tales

July 25, 2023 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Since we debuted our Open Road essay in the November 2018 issue, we’ve had the great fortune to feature some of the state’s brightest literary minds.

Editor’s Note: Flow Away

June 27, 2023 | By Emily Roberts Stone

The undercurrent of this month’s river stories is the tenuous stability of our beloved waterways. A combination of factors, including drought, population growth, and water rights issues, threatens the viability of some of the state’s most popular swimming holes and rivers.

Editor’s Note: Weekend Wanders

May 30, 2023 | By Emily Roberts Stone

When I think back on favorite weekend trips, it’s often simple moments that stand out. Last fall, my husband and I took our children, then 7 and 9, to Garner State Park for the first time.

Editor’s Note: The First 100

May 2, 2023 | By

Though our family has traveled to far-flung parks like Big Bend National Park out west and Caddo Lake State Park in East Texas, it wasn’t until last month that we finally visited McKinney Falls State Park in South Austin, about 25 minutes from our home.

Editor’s Note: Wild Child

March 28, 2023 | By Emily Roberts Stone

This morning, before I sat down to write this, a flock of wild turkeys wandered into our backyard in the Driftwood area.

Editor’s Note: Happy Trails

February 28, 2023 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Over the last decade, Senior Managing Editor Matt Joyce has written dozens of stories about Texas’ majestic landscapes, charismatic people, and multifaceted history.

Editor’s Note: Transcendent Texas

January 24, 2023 | By Emily Roberts Stone

When photographer Jessica Lutz moved to Marfa a decade ago, she was drawn to capture West Texas’ light, land, and story.

Editor’s Note: Ramble On

December 29, 2022 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Each January, our staff takes time to set travel resolutions for the year ahead. This year I’m looking forward to introducing my family to Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

Editor’s Note: A Coastal Carol

November 23, 2022 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Like many acclaimed authors before him, Edward Carey found that moving away from his homeland gifted him the freedom to write about it in a way he wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

Editor’s Note: Ranch Style

October 27, 2022 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Erwin “Skeeter” Hagler may not be a cowboy in real life, but his career has been intrinsically tied to the cowboy lifestyle.

Editor’s Note: Valley Roots

September 29, 2022 | By Emily Roberts Stone

This month’s story on Texas’ only native pepper, the chile pequin, originated from a conversation between our new senior editor, Danielle Lopez, and her father.

Editor’s Note: Wandering Eyes

August 25, 2022 | By Emily Roberts Stone

This month’s cover image marks the seventh taken by photographer and artist E. Dan Klepper, who’s been trekking across the state shooting and writing for us since 2010.

A Poem For Uvalde

July 28, 2022 | By ire’ne lara silva

Editor’s Note: Deep in the Heart

July 28, 2022 | By Emily Roberts Stone

This issue marks the fourth consecutive year we have devoted our August edition to small town Texas.

Editor’s Note: Return to the River

June 30, 2022 | By Emily Roberts Stone

It’s fitting that former Texas Highways managing editor Wes Ferguson’s return to our pages is for our annual River Issue.

Editor’s Note: You Can Go Home Again

May 26, 2022 | By

While she was growing up in Laredo, contributing writer Katie Gutierrez longed for life in a bigger city with more bustle and less monotony.

Editor’s Note: Preserved Paradise

April 28, 2022 | By Emily Roberts Stone

I’ve lived in the Hill Country for five years now, yet I’m still finding new reasons to admire its grandeur on a regular basis.

Editor’s Note: Ranching, Writing, and Cowdogs

February 24, 2022 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Like many Texans, John Erickson has strong ties to the land that reared him. Despite short stints in Denver and Boston during his college years, the beloved Texas author has lived in the Panhandle most of his life.

Editor’s Note: Artistic License

January 27, 2022 | By Emily Roberts Stone

The devil may be in the details, but in magazine publishing, that’s also where the magic lies.

Editor’s Note: Back on Trek

December 23, 2021 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Our writers-at-large have clocked countless hours and hundreds of thousands of miles exploring Texas in their more than 85 collective years writing about the state.

Editor’s Note: Good Eats

October 28, 2021 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Asking someone to select the best thing they’ve ever eaten in Texas may seem like an unfairly difficult question, but the responses to our query may have resulted in our most mouthwatering cover story yet.

Editor’s Note: River King

June 24, 2021 | By Emily Roberts Stone

For the third year in a row, writer-at-large Joe Nick Patoski is kicking off the warmest months of the year with an ode to one of Texas’ incomparable rivers.

Editor’s Note: On the Road Again

April 29, 2021 | By Emily Roberts Stone

After a year of staying close to home, many of our writers got back on the highway for the first time to report the stories for our annual Road Trip Issue.

Editor’s Note: Here Comes the Sun

March 25, 2021 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Over the past 11 months, I have often been in awe of the tenacity of our staff members and their unwavering commitment to producing quality work despite the myriad obstacles presented by the pandemic.

Editor’s Note: Nature’s Balm

February 25, 2021 | By Emily Roberts Stone

This month’s cover is an homage to the well-known Lady Bird Johnson quote, “Where wildflowers bloom, so does hope.” This spring, perhaps more than any in recent memory, we are in need of the hope and optimism of the season.

Editor’s Note: Joy Ride

January 28, 2021 | By Emily Roberts Stone

I have always loved taking road trips—creating the perfect playlist; buying the Cheetos, Dr Pepper, and three candy bars at the gas station; and feeling liberated from daily schedules and to-do lists.

Editor’s Note: Picture Perfect

December 24, 2020 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Photography frequently tops the list of what our readers enjoy most about Texas Highways. To kick off our 47th year of capturing Texas’ beauty, I asked Photo Editor Brandon Jakobeit to give us a peek behind the lens and answer some of our most common photography inquiries.

Editor’s Note: The Promised Land

November 26, 2020 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Editor’s Note: Texas Tough

October 29, 2020 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Editor’s Note: A New Lens

August 27, 2020 | By Emily Roberts Stone

When photographer Mabry Campbell took the shot of the Houston Water Wall that graces our cover, his aim was to make a well-documented sight look unrecognizable, disorienting even.

Editor’s Note: Travel Concerns From Our Black Readers

July 30, 2020 | By Emily Roberts Stone  

Editor’s Note: The Places in Texas We’re Most Looking Forward to Visiting

June 25, 2020 | By Emily Roberts Stone

After nearly three months cooped up at home without traveling much farther than our local grocery stores, our staff is looking forward to future trips to some of our favorite Texas spots as well as exploring new ones.

Editor’s Note: Travel, Interrupted

May 28, 2020 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Editor’s Note: Road Trip Dreamin’

April 30, 2020 | By Emily Roberts Stone

Conquering the Unknown

March 26, 2020 | By Emily Roberts Stone

The Enigmatic East

January 30, 2020 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Editor in Chief

Plan On It

December 27, 2019 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Editor in Chief

Turn Off the Lights

November 27, 2019 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Editor in Chief

Editor’s Note: Exploring Texas’ Cultural Crossroads

August 26, 2019 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Executive Editor

Texas has always served as a cultural crossroads. Before it was the longest stretch of the United States’ southern border with Mexico, it was a boundary between Spain and French Louisiana. Long before that, it was home to a number of diverse indigenous tribes. Our name, even, derives from a Spanish interpretation of a Caddo greeting meaning “friend.” And the value of the state’s most prolific commodities—cattle, cotton, and oil—has been dependent on links to the world at large.

Here’s How We Picked Our 15 Small Towns to Visit Now

July 24, 2019 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Executive Editor

Our aim was not to present a definitive ranking of best small towns (that would take us years to agree on) but a collection of under-the-radar places that are forging new identities through revitalization, reinvention, or recovery from big setbacks. We wanted our list to inspire discovery, so we skipped the small towns that already have well-established claims to fame—Lockhart for barbecue, Round Top for antiques, Fredericksburg for wine and peaches, Bandera for cowboy culture.

Find Summer Bliss with a Spontaneous Trip to One of Texas’ Lesser-Known Destinations

June 30, 2019 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Executive Editor

When it comes to iconic Texas summer destinations, the early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the prime Garner State Park campsite. With the population of Texas continuing to grow by 1,000 people a day, some of the state’s most sought-after vacation spots are booked five months to a year in advance. But, luckily, there are plenty of equally enjoyable summer diversions for the more spontaneous-minded travelers.

Texas Highways Editors Share Their Favorite Coastal Destinations

June 6, 2019 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Executive Editor

Share your favorite coastal memories and photos using the hashtag #myTXcoast for a chance to be featured on our social media accounts.

Balmorhea State Park is Ready for Summer Visitors

April 30, 2019 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Executive Editor

Sometimes the best summer moments are unplanned—a spontaneous road trip, a lazy day at the lake, or an impromptu backyard barbecue. But some of our state’s most memorable summer diversions require advance planning.
Balmorhea State Park’s star attraction, the pool, reopened March 1 after being closed nearly 10 months for repairs, and visitors are already returning in droves to cool off in the aquamarine water of the world’s largest spring-fed
swimming pool.

Explore the Guadalupe Ridge Trail with Texas Highways and New Mexico Magazines

March 19, 2019 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Executive Editor

This month, we’re partnering with New Mexico Magazine to share the story of this dual-state treasure with our neighbors to the west.

For our joint feature story, Managing Editor Wes Ferguson made his second trip to explore the Guadalupe Ridge Trail. As the fall 2017 artist-in-residence at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, he had spent nearly four weeks hiking and writing while immersed in the highest and wildest country Texas offers. “This assignment brought me back to the Guadalupes for the first time in nearly a year,” Ferguson says, “and it felt like a reunion with an old friend I don’t see nearly as often as I wish.”

Texas Highways Magazine Celebrates 45 Years of Traveling Texas

March 1, 2019 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Executive Editor

If there’s one thing Texans can agree on, it’s their love of wildflowers. A field of native blooms graced the second-ever cover of Texas Highways, and readers’ enthusiasm for the bluebonnet and its springtime companions hasn’t dampened since.

The Inspiring Story Behind Big Bend National Park’s Founding 6 Days After D-Day

January 28, 2019 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Executive Editor

Seventy-five years ago this summer, the country was gripped by news of the Allied invasion of Nazi-
occupied Europe. But even at the height of the conflict, the commander-in-chief could not resist turning his attention, at least for a few minutes, to West Texas. On June 6, 1944, President Roosevelt met with a Texas delegation to discuss the future of what would become Big Bend National Park. Six days later, he signed legislation establishing it, capping a decades-long effort to preserve a state and national treasure.

Things Lose Their Luster Fairly Quickly, While Memories of Experiences Brighten With Time

November 28, 2018 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Executive Editor

On my son’s third birthday last year, he received a gift we’ll probably never top: snow in Austin. The 4-inch snowfall provided enough white powder for all the winter fun he’d only seen in cartoons or picture books until then. For two magical hours, he ran around our yard making snowballs and snow angels and catching snowflakes on his tongue. Nearly a year later, he still brings it up on a regular basis—the night so cemented in his mind, I’m betting it’ll be one of his first recallable memories. The toys and clothes he got for gifts that year, not so much.

Travel Is About Allowing Ourselves the Freedom to Live in the Moment

October 25, 2018 | By

My clearest memories of travel from my childhood tend to recall the simple moments. The start of vacation was always the same—my dad carrying me out to my grandparents’ motor home before dawn and settling me into the bed above the cab. When I woke up, we’d be well on our way, and I’d relish watching the road unfold in front of me from my new vantage point. Other highlights come back to me in blurs: collecting pine cones with my brother, playing cards with my mom, and listening to my dad’s scary stories before we drifted off to sleep each night.

A Scenic Detour off Interstate 10 Reveals Spectacular Views of the Pecos River Valley

August 26, 2018 | By

The best road trips allow time for detours off the beaten path. Though it can be tempting to choose the most expedient route, it’s often the “long-cuts” that make a trip memorable. One of our family’s perennial favorites is the Sheffield Loop, a 20-mile scenic drive on State Highway 290, just off Interstate 10 west of Ozona.

The Call of The River Brings Peace and a Sense of Nostalgia

July 17, 2018 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Executive Editor

There’s something about a river that evokes feelings of nostalgia. Perhaps it’s the tie to something ancient—the current that ripples over our feet carries the same water that sustained native tribes and beckoned early settlers to its shore.

You’ll Feel Right at Home in This Small-Town Beach Community

May 23, 2018 | By Emily Roberts Stone, Executive Editor.

Our annual Coastal Issue is different than the one we had in mind when we began planning it last summer. The impact of Hurricane Harvey on coastal communities was so severe it left many people uncertain about the coming tourism season. In many of these small towns, tourism is the primary industry and vital to their recovery. We quickly realized one way we could help: spreading the word that beloved destinations like Port Aransas and Rockport-Fulton are ready for visitors.

Senior Editor Lori Moffatt Shares Her Favorite Places in Texas After 27 Years at Texas Highways

April 24, 2018 | By

This issue marks the 44th anniversary of the travel magazine of Texas. It’s also the last issue for Senior Editor Lori Moffatt, who is retiring after an esteemed 27 years with the publication. As a staff, we’re going to miss her irreplaceable knowledge of Texas’ history and culture, insightful edits and sharp eye for details, but even more so the passion and vitality she’s brought to these pages and the office over the years. Before her departure, I asked her to share some of her insights with the readers she’s served so well for more than 300 issues. 

Editor’s Note: More Reasons to Get Outside this Spring

March 19, 2018 | By

Americans are spending less and less time outdoors.
According to recent studies, we spend an average of 93 percent of our lives indoors, and children today spend half as much time playing outside as their parents did.

Editor’s Letter: Misadventures in Wildflower Photography

February 14, 2018 | By

On an overcast spring morning five years ago, with our 1-month-old baby in tow, my husband and I headed out on a singular mission. My mom was in town for the weekend, and we were determined to get that perfect “child among the bluebonnets” picture that was my daughter’s Texas birthright.

It being late March, we didn’t expect to have much trouble finding a bountiful patch of blooms. We struck out at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center—its bluebonnets wouldn’t come in until a little later in the spring, one of the volunteers explained.

The Mythology of the Wild West Looms Large over Texas

January 15, 2018 | By

Tales of heroic cowboys and gritty ranchers dominate much of the state’s literature.  

San Antonio’s Tricentennial Is a Party 300 Years in the Making

December 15, 2017 | By

The best destination cities give travelers a distinct feeling that can only be experienced by walking their streets.

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