true texas

Meet Our Makers: Jae Benjamin of Benjamin Soap Co.

April 3, 2019 | By TH Staff

At her studio in Hutto, Jae Benjamin crafts small batches of cold-process soaps and hand-poured soy candles using all-natural ingredients. Her artisan bath, body, and home products often contain organic herbs, raw honey, and plant-based essential oils, and some feature inventive additions like coffee beans and stout beer. Benjamin started out small at an Austin farmers market in 2014, but now her wares can be found at select shops across the nation.

Find History and Romance on the Bridges of McLennan County

August 27, 2018 | By E. Dan Klepper

Despite its title, this story is not a parody of a famous novel with a similar name. It is about a love affair, however, one that endures between the people of Waco and their bridges. And this love story begins with a tortilla.

Before There Were Mavericks, There Was Texas Legend Sam Maverick

July 26, 2018 | By Gene Fowler

Deep down, every true Texan wants to be a maverick. Whether your folks have been here for centuries or you just arrived this morning, a disposition to be different from the herd—to mosey through life unbranded—slips into your psyche on Lone Star soil.

Bill Wittliff, Lauded Texas Writer and Founder of Cultural Archives at Texas State, Has Died

June 27, 2018 | By

In memory of Bill Wittliff, who died Sunday, we revisit our July 2018 profile of Wittliff and the cultural archives he founded and developed at Texas State University, the Wittliff Collections.

There’s Nothing but a Beach on St. Jo Island, but What More Do You Need?

May 30, 2018 | By Wes Ferguson

With miles of undeveloped shoreline, San José Island offers room to roam.
When Hurricane Harvey struck last summer, it made landfall on San José Island, a coastal retreat where U.S. presidents have come to fish and fundraise, and everything but a broad and empty beach is owned by a family of billionaires.

Take Flight in a Vintage Military Aircraft at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Houston

April 26, 2018 | By

The roar of the engines fills my ears as the two pilots, seated behind me, guide the plane over my hometown of La Porte. From this vantage point, some 1,500 feet in the air, I gaze down upon a patchwork landscape of refineries divided by the sinuous path of the Houston Ship Channel. The plane banks to the left, revealing a familiar landmark: the limestone pillar of the San Jacinto Monument. As we pass over its crowning star, I catch a glimpse of the Battleship Texas, docked nearby.

Texas-Style Fiddle Takes Center Stage at Fiddlers’ Frolics in Hallettsville

March 16, 2018 | By

Anybody who’s picked up a violin can feel its delicacy. A full-size instrument weighs less than a pound, with a slender body fashioned of elegant hand-pared wood. Four metallic strings run tightly down a neck that’s skinnier than a matchbox. The sound reverberates from two narrow holes in the body, each shaped like a feather.

Travel Through Time with a Tour of El Paso’s Historic Architecture

February 13, 2018 | By Clayton Maxwell

It’s dusk on South El Paso Street, the buzzing thoroughfare that connects downtown El Paso to the Juárez bridge, and a man in a top hat and black coat strides down the sidewalk.

Show Us Texas Through Your Eyes-And Camera Lens

January 30, 2018 | By

Texas Highways readers are a special breed. Not only are most of you born-and-raised here (or wise transplants), but you also are among the proudest Texans.

From Boomtown to Ghost Town: Ranger, Breckenridge, and Thurber Museums Recall Early 20th Century Oil Rush

January 17, 2018 | By Robyn Ross

Derricks filled the town of Ranger during the oil boom, as depicted in this circa-1920 photo on display in the Roaring Ranger Oil Boom Museum.

Val Verde Winery, the Oldest in Texas, Has Been Making Wine in Del Rio for 135 Years

December 14, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

In the border town of Del Rio, Val Verde Winery has been growing grapes and making wine near the banks of the Rio Grande for 135 years. To sample Val Verde’s wines, surrounded by thick adobe walls and antique wooden equipment, is to experience a vestige of Texas agricultural history and taste the heritage of the state’s oldest operational winery.

Culture on the Concho: The San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts

November 9, 2017 | By Heather Brand

Amid the rugged terrain of the Concho Valley in West Texas, on what was once the edge of the wild frontier, the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts stands as a vibrant cultural outpost.

If These Trees Could Talk

October 15, 2017 | By Laura Samuel Meyn

No historical marker indicates that this particular pecan tree near the grounds of the Texas National Guard Armory in northwest Dallas is special—just the fact that its trunk grows along the ground for about 25 feet before turning upward.

Discover Granbury’s haunted history in a courthouse square tour

September 19, 2017 | By Cynthia J. Drake

Granbury is the kind of place where everyone knows everyone’s business—and if the locals don’t know you yet, they’ll find out soon enough.

A different take on border diplomacy at El Paso’s Chamizal National Memorial

July 18, 2017 | By Clayton Maxwell

What happens when a river changes course and the border between two countries hangs in the balance?

San Antonio’s West Side murals celebrate Chicano culture

June 14, 2017 | By E. Dan Klepper

After crossing Alazan Creek via Guadalupe Street on San Antonio’s West Side, you’ll traverse a neighborhood characterized by locally run shops known as tienditas, pretty Catholic churches, 1920s shotgun homes, and the occasional turn-of-the-century Queen Anne ornamentation.

It’s a Small World

May 11, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

In a small workshop on the ground floor of Texas A&M University’s Anthropology Building, broad windows illuminate a faint dusting of sawdust covering tools, computers, and supply shelves.

Silver Stars and Six Shooters

April 18, 2017 | By Dave Montgomery

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco has just opened for the day, and already nearly 100 fourth-graders pore over exhibits and artifacts chronicling one of the world’s most storied law enforcement organizations.

Reimagining the Alamo

March 20, 2017 | By Alexander Rivard

In second grade, I received a beautiful Alamo diorama for Christmas, complete with plastic soldiers and a cardboard backdrop, perfect for replaying the battle over and over with alternate endings.

Colonial Cradle

February 23, 2017 | By Dave Montgomery

During a recent archeological dig at San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site, workers trowelled through a small, rectangular slice of land just north of the community of San Felipe in southeastern Texas.

Rodeo Royalty

February 9, 2017 | By Matt Joyce

Bull riding has been good to Ty Murray. But that doesn’t mean he wants to hop on the back of a 1,500-pound bucking bovine ever again.

Unchained Melodies

December 16, 2016 | By Caroline Gnagy

Inside the administrative and archives office of the Texas Prison Museum in Huntsville, I thumb through old photographs and booklets that archivist Sandra Rogers has pulled for me to examine.

State of Music

November 14, 2016 | By Michael Corcoran

No state is more musical than Texas, whose very geography seems to hum. Even the city names remind you of songs.

Singing a Story

October 14, 2016 | By Bobbie Jean Sawyer

It’s Wednesday evening at Cheatham Street Warehouse. Open guitar cases are scattered throughout the neon-lit barroom, the sign-up sheet for the weekly Songwriters’ Circle has just been posted, and Guy Clark’s voice plays on the overhead speakers.

Ancient Pioneers

September 16, 2016 | By Kathryn Jones

In a grassy cattle pasture near Florence, a rounded metal-frame structure covered with sturdy white canvas stands along Buttermilk Creek, pecan trees towering overhead.

Art Deco Achievement

August 1, 2016 | By Laura Samuel Meyn

Let’s say you’re among the millions of people who visit Fair Park in Dallas for the State Fair of Texas each year.

Piece of My Heart

July 14, 2016 | By MIchael Corcoran

This summer marks 50 years since a 23-year-old from Port Arthur moved to San Francisco to become a pioneering female rock star.

Duded Up

June 20, 2016 | By Gene Fowler

Bucked off a bronc and knocked unconscious, Florence Hughes Randolph lay on a stretcher at the 1929 San Antonio Rodeo.

Sailing On

May 11, 2016 | By Roger Wood

Aboard the Tall Ship Elissa docked at Galveston’s Pier 21, two boys pause near the wide base of a towering pole.

The San Antonio Blues

March 21, 2016 | By Michael Corcoran

Arguably the most monumental date in the history of recorded music in Texas was November 23, 1936, when Robert Johnson created the template for electric blues, which became rock-and-roll, in Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio.

Harboring an Ancient Herd

January 12, 2016 | By Helen Anders

Some 65,000 years ago, a small herd of female Columbian mammoths and their babies wandered through a grassland in what is now north Waco during an intense rainstorm.

Life on the Farm

December 18, 2015 | By

In the January 2016 issue of Texas Highways magazine, Associate Editor Matt Joyce shares his experiences at the Hog Butchering and Curing Workshop at Nash Farm in Grapevine.

Of Pork and Posterity

December 15, 2015 | By Matt Joyce

Like most Texans, I grew up loving pork: bacon, bratwurst, ham, carnitas, chops, loin, hot dogs, baby-back ribs, breakfast patties, chorizo, and so on.

Haven for history

November 12, 2015 | By Heather Brand

Houston businessman J.P. Bryan had been searching for the perfect site for a museum to showcase his immense collection of artifacts and artworks chronicling the history of the American Southwest.

Raising Sugarcane

October 27, 2015 | By Christine S. Diamond

In the days before refrigeration and air-conditioning, East Texans relished sugarcane syrup for sweet relief from their arduous lifestyle.

Original Texas Road Trip

October 17, 2015 | By Randy Mallory

Just outside the quaint East Texas town of Mount Vernon, County Road 2025 stretches ahead like a postcard from the past.

Forgotten Conflict

August 14, 2015 | By Gene Fowler

When historians expound on the most important action in the Civil War, they usually focus on battles fought east of the Mississippi River.

From Padres to Presidents

July 22, 2015 | By Mike Patterson

The Commerce Street Bridge—one of the state’s oldest bridge sites—stands at a confluence of time and place in downtown San Antonio.

Bent on Boats

May 28, 2015 | By Sallie Lewis

Inside a historic boat barn in Port Aransas, a small group gathered around a newly built wooden skiff to sign their names on the underside of the boat’s last unfastened floorboard.

Bellows in the Blood

April 16, 2015 | By Matt Joyce

Randall Jackson planted himself in the center of the dance floor and focused on the stage.

Out of this World!

March 18, 2015 | By Dan Oko

We don’t want to accidentally launch anything, so don’t touch any buttons,” says David Cisco, a former spacecraft technician who worked on Project Apollo in the 1960s, as we stand before an array of control panels in NASA’s historic Mission Control.

Grand by Design

February 17, 2015 | By Roger Wood

A spotlight pierces the darkened theater as an acoustic guitarist fingerpicks the opening notes of a tune.

The Men in Blue

January 23, 2015 | By Roger Wood

The Lone Star State has long celebrated its Wild West history—the gritty pioneers, the proud Native Americans, and the hardened lawmen who fought to establish frontier law and order.

Eternal Value

December 12, 2014 | By Russell Graves

National Park Ranger Marten Schmitz retrieves a palm-sized chunk of Alibates flint rock from the dried short-grass prairie.

Under the Comanche Moon

September 9, 2014 | By E. Dan Klepper

Who, on Earth, can resist the allure of a full moon? Twelve nights each year, we gaze into the sky as the lunar satellite casts cold light on the planet.

Western Specters

August 22, 2014 | By Matt Joyce

Concordia Cemetery in central El Paso doesn’t look like much at first sight. The disparate collection of headstones, crosses, and mausoleums stakes out a 52-acre expanse of dusty desert in the shadows of residential neighborhoods, a carpet wholesale warehouse, and Interstate 10.

In the Creative Moment

July 11, 2014 | By Gene Fowler

The artist, inventor, architect, and teacher Buck Winn first beheld the hills of Wimberley in the late 1930s.

The Great Camel Experiment

June 19, 2014 | By Michael Marks

Doug Baum’s farm outside of Waco looks like most others in Central Texas. There are a few scattered, scrubby mesquite trees, an old windmill from the Axtell Company in Fort Worth, and a maze of barbed wire fencing to separate the donkeys and the goats from the camels.

For the Love of the Lyric

May 21, 2014 | By Roger Wood

Among the many good reasons to visit downtown Galveston, one of the more obscure, but best, is a passion for song.

Prehistoric Painters

April 15, 2014 | By Harry J. Shafer

The desert canyonlands formed by the Rio Grande, Devil’s, and Pecos rivers may appear inhospitable to travelers driving west of Del Rio on US 90.

‘Conquer or Perish:’ The story of the San Jacinto Monument

March 10, 2014 | By Jennifer Nalewicki

When Houston Businessman Jesse H. Jones approached the federal government for money to help build the San Jacinto Monument in La Porte, it took a little ingenuity to get Uncle Sam to open his wallet.

Tracing General Sam’s Piney Woods

February 24, 2014 | By Denton Florian

After crossing the Red River into Texas in December of 1832, Sam Houston’s first stop was the city of Nacogdoches, the gateway to Mexican territory and home to some of the region’s most influential residents.

Due West

January 3, 2014 | By Gene Fowler

The late, great Texan Dolph Briscoe Jr. loved his native land as much as anyone who gazed upon the storied walls of the Alamo, beheld the timeless passage of the Rio Grande, or strode both proud and humble beneath a vast Texas sky.

There’s No Place Like Floore’s Country Store in Helotes

November 4, 2013 | By By Michelle Burgess

It’s been 50 years, give or take, since a clean-shaven, copper-locked singer-songwriter from up past Waco first took the stage at John T.

True, Texas: What is it? Where is it?

August 20, 2010 | By

What is True, Texas?  The bold-faced greeting from a gleaming water tower. The creaky, timeworn floors of a rural dance hall.

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