Travel Matters

Austin Piano Great Marcia Ball is Still Tickling Them Ivories

October 4, 2018 | By

When Marcia Ball gets to rocking—her long fingers pounding out barrelhouse keyboard rhythms, knees bouncing to the beat, the band locked into the groove—it can be downright difficult to sit still. The Austin piano player has been getting people to their feet for decades with her joyful take on rhythm and blues and a voice steeped in Gulf Coast soul.

After Tackling Topics like Al Qaeda and Scientology, Texas Writer Lawrence Wright Is Now onto Examining the Lone Star State

August 27, 2018 | By Michael Hoinski

Wright, 71, welcomed 2018 with the Hulu miniseries The Looming Tower, based on his 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning book about Al-Qaeda and 9/11. Then came the world premiere of his play Cleo, about the love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton during filming of the 1963 epic Cleopatra. Most recently, Wright played a key role in the acclaimed documentary Three Identical Strangers, which is informed by a study he unearthed in his 1997 book, Twins.

Houston Astros Reflect on Their Success and Why They Love Their City

July 25, 2018 | By Matt Joyce

After several tough seasons of rebuilding and an unpopular move from the National League to the American League, the team capped its recovery last fall with its first World Series title.

They did it with a roster of charismatic young players who breathed new life into fans across Houston and beyond. But as they were coalescing into a contender last summer, Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston, leaving the city desperate for a break in the clouds.

El Paso Young-adult Author Benjamin Alire Sáenz Explores the Outliers

June 27, 2018 | By Clayton Maxwell

Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with the characters in Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s fiction. Be it with two high school friends taking on the world in his celebrated young-adult novels, or with people stumbling through loss in his short stories, or with the shining voice of his poetry, the El Paso-based writer expands your perspective and opens your heart.

As They Open a New B&B, the Junk Gypsy Sisters Talk Round Top and Their Passion for Junk

April 26, 2018 | By

As preteens in East Texas, they plucked the relic from a pile of discarded furniture and repurposed it in their tree house. Now the duo, popularly known as the Junk Gypsies, have made a very successful pursuit out of turning other people’s trash into treasure, or “junking.” The sisters’ brand includes the Junk Gypsy Company retail store in Round Top, a self-titled book, merchandise ranging from fringed cowgirl boots to ruffled bedding, and a TV show.

A Conversation with Austinite Turk Pipkin, a Former Juggling Clown Who Became a Writer, Actor, and Humanitarian

March 20, 2018 | By Matt Joyce

A West Texas native, Pipkin grew up in San Angelo and on his family’s ranch at the headwaters of the South Llano River. His tendencies as a class clown led to a career as a juggling comedian, Hollywood screenwriter and actor, and film director. He’s shared stages with Robin Williams and Harry Anderson; held recurring roles on HBO’s The Sopranos and The Leftovers; and even written a New York Times best-selling book with a famous country musician/golfing buddy—The Tao of Willie: A Guide to Happiness in Your Heart.

Lukas Nelson Jumps out of Willie’s Shadow

February 13, 2018 | By Matt Joyce

Lukas Nelson comes by his success honestly; never mind that his father happens to be one of Texas’ most beloved musicians.

Behind the Lens of Dallas Photographer Laura Wilson

January 12, 2018 | By Heather Brand

For more than four decades, photographer Laura Wilson has been documenting the American West—and Texas in particular.

Talking Baseball and Country Music with Charley Pride

December 14, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

Charley Pride moved to Dallas for the same reasons that people have flocked to the city for generations: He was chasing a dream, and Big D provided easy airport access.

James Beard Award-Winning Chef Hugo Ortega Dishes on His Love for Houston

November 9, 2017 | By Heather Brand

Hugo Ortega’s culinary touch is celebrated in his hometown of Houston and beyond—he’s the creative force behind a string of successful eateries in the city’s prosperous yet competitive restaurant scene.

Ground Control to Charlie Duke, Apollo Mission Astronaut of New Braunfels

October 15, 2017 | By Heather Brand

Only 12 people have walked on the moon, and New Braunfels resident Charlie Duke is one of them.

Eva Ybarra, the Accordion Queen, Was Born to Play

September 19, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

Not much has come easily for Eva Ybarra, except playing music. Since getting her start as a young girl in San Antonio icehouses in the 1950s, the accordionist has carved out a lasting career with her progressive style and forceful singing. Today, Ybarra is recognized as one of conjunto’s most accomplished players—despite the vagaries of the music business and the headwinds of macho chauvinism—and is known by the esteemed nickname, La Reina del Acordeón (the queen of the accordion).

Football star Dat Nguyen shares his life journey

August 23, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

Dat Nguyen holds the distinction of being the first and only Vietnamese-American to play in the National Football League.

ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons talks touring, Texas and more

July 18, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

You’d be hard-pressed to name a band that defines Texas rock ’n’ roll any better than ZZ Top.

Country Singer Aaron Watson’s Texas independence streak

June 15, 2017 | By Heather Brand

Ever since the 1999 debut of his first album, Singer/Songwriter, country crooner Aaron Watson has been blazing his own trail up the charts with songs that draw from his hometown roots and Texas musical heritage.

Lyrical Herencia

May 11, 2017 | By Heather Brand

Nearly every year since 1932, the Texas Legislature has named a State Poet Laureate to honor significant contributions in the field of poetry.

All Roads Lead to Tuna

April 18, 2017 | By Heather Brand

The actor and playwright Jaston Williams grew up in the small towns of Olton and Crosbyton in the Texas Panhandle, but he is best known for his portrayals of a different small town—the fictional hamlet of Tuna.

Bilingual Dreams

March 20, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

Austin musician Carrie Rodriguez bridges two worlds with her most recent album, Lola, which made both Rolling Stone’s list of best country albums and NPR’s list of best Latino albums in 2016.

Punchin’, Preachin’, and the Piney Woods

January 12, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

Maybe you know George Foreman the boxer. “Big George” notched a 76-5 record in his legendary career, including an Olympic Gold Medal in 1968, a world heavyweight title in 1973, and, following an improbable comeback at age 45, a second world heavyweight title in 1994.

Little Joe’s Big Life

December 16, 2016 | By Heather Brand

At age 76, “Little Joe” Hernández has spent more than half a century performing his personal brand of Tejano music on stages across the Lone Star State and well beyond.

For the love of life, land and cowdogs

November 14, 2016 | By Matt Joyce

You’d be hard-pressed to find a Texas schoolkid from the mid-1980s forward who doesn’t crack a smile at the mention of Hank the Cowdog.

Big, Bold, and Boffo

October 14, 2016 | By Heather Brand

Houston-based artist David Adickes estimates he’s created about 5,000 paintings, drawings, and three-dimensional artworks over the course of his 70-year career.

Fostering the blues

September 16, 2016 | By Heather Brand

It was in Austin that Foster released her first album, Full Circle, in 1997, followed by eight more albums over the years.

All aboard the Ryan Express

August 1, 2016 | By Matt Joyce

Nolan Ryan doesn’t pitch much these days, unless you count the occasional honorary first toss, bits of sage advice for up-and-comers, and games of catch with his grandkids.

Folk Champions

July 18, 2016 | By Barbara Rodriguez

There are things you expect to discover when you travel: new restaurants, unfamiliar expressions, off road attractions.

Get Away. Just Do It.

June 20, 2016 | By Barbara Rodriguez

I’ve spent much of my adult life in search of the best places in Texas to do little or nothing — getaways, hideaways, well-appointed holes in which to hide — weekend respites from city demands.

Beach Rituals

May 16, 2016 | By Barbara Rodriguez

My addiction to Texas beaches began literally overnight. I was in my early 20s and in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin.

New Driver

April 18, 2016 | By Barbara Rodriguez

You wonder what they will remember.
My son has traveled with me since he was an infant, making his first journey at the age of six weeks, swaddled and tucked into the bow of a canoe as I paddled into an archipelago of islands in upstate New York.

Enduring Love

February 26, 2016 | By Barbara Rodriguez

It’s easy to love West Texas. The attractions of the Big Sky country are obvious. The openly bold landscape refuses to be ignored.

Land Down Under

January 12, 2016 | By Barbara Rodriguez

That great big park down in the yawning western expanse of our state is a gift for which every Texan should drop in to say thank you at least once in a lifetime.

Pan Dulce Dreams

December 15, 2015 | By Barbara Rodriguez

Not all road trips are equal. That is especially true from a child’s perspective. A day’s drive to an amusement park is delightful in theory, but the reality involves hours and hours of confinement before the pay-off.

The Gift of the Getaway

November 13, 2015 | By Barbara Rodriguez

Travel is the gift we give ourselves.

Little Turkey Day

October 13, 2015 | By

Often where we travel and why is motivated by food, whether a journey charted to find new favorites or a desire to return to a place where a great meal—or maybe just a slice of pie—was once memorably enjoyed.

Ghost Story

September 16, 2015 | By Barbara Rodriguez

The once-bustling river port of Jefferson has been saluted for many things: the state’s first gas streetlights, one of the state’s first breweries and, my personal favorite, an abundance of ghosts.

Lessons Learned

August 14, 2015 | By Barbara Rodriguez

It’s a cliché by now. You don’t really know someone until you’ve traveled with them. Just because it’s a truism doesn’t mean it doesn’t bear repeating—or explicating.

Gardens of Stone

July 16, 2015 | By Barbara Rodriguez

I am not sure when I first fell in love with rambling through historic cemeteries. I know it was one of my mother’s favorite diversions on any road trip or vacation.

One Enchanted Evening

June 15, 2015 | By Barbara Rodriguez

I am enchanted by night sounds. I am aware of ambient noise always, but in my day-to-day life the buzz and hum of air vents and traffic is seldom remarkable enough to draw my attention.

The Road to Tradition

May 13, 2015 | By Barbara Rodriguez

I know the goal of many travelers is to never visit the same place twice. It’s a big world and we all have long bucket lists.

Sacred Places

April 15, 2015 | By Barbara Rodriguez

May can be the cruelest month for travel lovers. Spring break has come and gone. Summer vacation is but a dream.

Lost and Found

March 16, 2015 | By Barbara Rodriguez

When I was six years old I got lost.

Crossing Bridges

February 6, 2015 | By Barbara Rodriguez

One of many reasons that I like to take car trips with my son is that they never fail to inspire conversation.

Into the Light

January 6, 2015 | By Barbara Rodriguez

I have wondered many times what it is about far West Texas that I find both uplifting and settling.

Staycation Elation

December 12, 2014 | By Barbara Rodriguez

I like to believe that my mother invented the staycation. With a twist.

Christmas Wild

November 15, 2014 | By Barbara Rodriguez

More and more I try to travel during the Christmas season. Even if it’s just a daytrip, I like to blast away from the clatter and take a few deep breaths somewhere the trees don’t have lights on them.

Always Talk to Strangers

October 23, 2014 | By Barbara Rodriguez

I was in Tucson’s international airport circa 1984 on my way to Mexico to join a press trip being hosted by a new beach resort.

Road Rules

September 8, 2014 | By Barbara Rodriguez

Autumn is my favorite season for a roadtrip. Obviously, cooler weather factors into my affection. Also, smaller crowds make for broader landscapes.

Have Pet, Will Travel

August 21, 2014 | By Barbara Rodriguez

There are all sorts of travel experiences, each of which require different sorts of flexibility for success.

The Unexpected Journey

July 10, 2014 | By Barbara Rodriguez

I am a planner. I arrive hours early for flights, almost that early for doctor’s appointments and even —much to my child’s annoyance — movies.

Room to Breathe

June 15, 2014 | By Barbara Rodriguez

The trouble with the traditional American school calendar is that it conditions you to believe that summers should be spent on vacation.

Take A Plunge

May 13, 2014 | By Barbara Rodriguez

Throughout my life, in every neighborhood, on every summer’s vacation, road trip, or nature hike, there has been a memorable swimming hole.

The Interstate Gourmet

April 23, 2014 | By Barbara Rodriguez

Almost 30 years ago, I drove every mile of Texas’ interstate highways in search of something to eat.

Wild About Flowers

March 23, 2014 | By Barbara Rodriguez

Babs Rodriguez’s son becomes a true-bluebonnet Texan in the April 2014 installment of Travel Matters.

Memories Pack Light

February 24, 2014 | By Barbara Rodriguez

Babs Rodriguez unpacks a lifetime of travel memories. Here’s the full story from the March 2014 issue of Texas Highways.

Lilo Goes West

February 1, 2014 | By Barbara Rodriguez

Babs Rodriguez recalls her German mother-in-law’s Big Bend epiphanies. Here’s the full story from the February 2014 issue of Texas Highways:

Pop Out and About

December 20, 2013 | By Barbara Rodriguez

After he turned 80, it was difficult to get my Pop to leave the house. I found it hard to accept this sea change in the man who had been my travel mentor.

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