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October 31, 2019 | By
West Texas winds transform an ever-changing landscape of sand dunes at the 3,840-acre Monahans Sandhills State Park. The field of dunes begins south of Monahans and stretches north into New Mexico. Opened in 1957, the state park harbors a peaceful Chihuahuan Desert playground where people can explore the rolling landscape, slide down the hills, picnic, camp, and take in extraordinary sunrises and sunsets.
August 29, 2019 | By
At Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge south of Alamo, the Spanish moss dripping from the trees invokes a sense of tranquility—and a touch of otherworldliness—in a park created to protect migratory birds. While wandering the refuge’s 14 miles of trails, keep an eye and ear out for resident birds like green jays, chachalacas, and great kiskadees, which are joined by migratory species in the fall and spring.
June 24, 2019 | By
A lot of lore surrounds the naming of Devil’s Waterhole along a northeast branch of Inks Lake State Park near Burnet: One legend says the land’s previous owner was known to curse loudly whenever his wagon got stuck crossing it, while others believe Native Americans originally named it for its warmer waters. While the source of the name is unconfirmed, there’s no question that it’s a popular natural swimming area for daredevils. It can only be reached from inside the park by either hiking the quarter-mile Devil’s Waterhole Trail or by paddling along Inks Lake. Upon arrival, hikers and paddlers are greeted by the park’s metamorphic rock, Valley Spring Gneiss, with ledges rising up to 40 feet above the water.
May 31, 2019 | By
Even when clouds loom, any day is a good day on Follett’s Island, which features about 11 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. Free access to the beach is available at multiple points between Surfside Beach and San Luis Pass along Bluewater Highway. During the summer, the water temperatures are usually a balmy low- to mid-80 degrees—perfect for fishing, swimming, horseback riding, birding, and camping on the beach.
March 28, 2019 | By
The wide-open spaces and generally flat landscape make the plains of Texas a prime location for wind energy production. With nothing to block the view for miles, the environment also makes for some spectacular storm viewing. The two combine in this electric image of a storm passing over a wind farm near Sweetwater.
March 1, 2019 | By
With their characteristically droopy petals, Black Samson coneflowers seem ready to turn down for the night as the sun sets on the Clymer Meadow Preserve northwest of Greenville. The preserve protects remnants of the Blackland Prairie, a tallgrass prairie that once stretched from the Texas coast to Canada. Prairies and pastures in North Texas and the plains of the Panhandle provide native habitats for this perennial, which blooms April through July and can also be propagated in gardens.
December 16, 2018 | By
Chinese New Year traditions include releasing a wishing lantern into the air or casting it into the water to bring good luck or release worries. The latter is celebrated annually at the San Antonio River Walk, which holds its Confucius Wishing Lanterns event Feb. 9. The ceremony of floating gold-rimmed lanterns
November 28, 2018 | By
Scarlet possumhaw berries and the bright plumage of the male northern cardinal add a splash of warmth to an otherwise cold winter day. While possumhaw is found in Central and East Texas—sprouting berries in fall and winter—northern cardinals can be spotted year-round through most of Texas. Like this iconic winter bird, other songbirds, gamebirds, opossums, and raccoons all dine on the possumhaw’s conspicuous berries.
October 25, 2018 | By
Rising from the Chihuahuan Desert north of Van Horn, the Guadalupe Mountains crest at the four highest elevations in the state—Guadalupe Peak, Bush Mountain, Shumard Peak, and Bartlett Peak. Though slightly shorter, El Capitan stands out as a distinctive limestone cliff towering some 3,000 feet above the road—making it a popular stop for photographers. The range contains some spectacular geological features, including part of the fossilized Capitan Reef, much of which can be seen within Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
When You Just Can’t Take That Texas Heat Anymore, Take a Dip in This Private Oasis in the Texas Hill Country
April 26, 2018 | By
Since the 1950s, the Krause family has operated this 115-acre paradise in the Texas Hill Country—added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 for its undisturbed Native American burial sites. Its 68-degree waters on Cypress Creek offer a cool respite from Texas summers.
March 20, 2018 | By
Nestled among the trees in a beloved Austin green space along Shoal Creek, a playful contemporary art installation has infused new life into one of Texas’ oldest public parks.
February 14, 2018 | By
In September 2011, the most destructive wildfire in Texas history raged through the loblolly pines of Bastrop State Park. The deadly fire burned 32,000 acres in the area—including 96 percent of the 6,565-acre park.
November 10, 2017 | By
What: Ice Land: Rainforest Holiday
Where: Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston, TX
When: Through January 7, 2018
The holiday spirit blends with the tropics this year during Galveston’s annual chilly spectacle, Ice Land.
October 12, 2017 | By
What: Fresno Ranch
Where: Big Bend Ranch State Park
Between 2006 and 2013, writer, photographer, and artist E.
August 30, 2017 | By Jane Kellogg Murray.
What: Target Marathon
Where: US 90 between Marathon and Alpine
The Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway first reached Brewster County in the 1880s—turning this isolated spot into a shipping and supply point for area ranchers.