Decades ago, every other Saturday or so, my family would pile into the car and drive the hour south from our home in Beeville to Corpus Christi for a day of shopping, beaching, and savoring Gulf shrimp. Our excursions would usually end with an evening drive along the bayfront—windows rolled down—as we wound our way toward the Harbor Bridge and homeward. At the top of the span, my mother would inevitably turn back and exclaim, “Kids, look at the lights!” And no matter how many times we took in the lofty view—even as jaded teenagers annoyed by the easy-listening station playing on the radio—my brother and I would share in our mother’s ever-fresh sense of wonder at that nighttime spectacle of the Sparkling City by the Sea.

Oftentimes, such lifts in elevation can lead to pleasant shifts in attitude. Immersing ourselves in the grand scheme can at least temporarily lessen our troubles. With that in mind, we hope this month’s “Amazing Altitudes” story (see page 38) provides a little mood boost as you imagine yourself looking out over such inspiring vistas at Love’s Lookout, Garner State Park, and the Pecos River High Bridge.

And the best part is that this surge in spirit isn’t exclusive to grand vacations. In fact, a few steps up a ladder can lend a fresh perspective on the world, as TH Senior Editor Lori Moffatt shares. “I like the view from the high dive at the pool at Balmorhea State Park,” she says. “It’s not that high, of course, but it seems that way from the tip of a springy board, looking down on the shimmering aquamarine pool with the Davis Mountains in the background.”

Art Director Jane Wu makes a point to check out a top view anytime she travels. “Several Texas vistas come to mind,” says Jane, “but one that’s timely for summer is the Port Isabel Lighthouse. I can imagine the word ‘panorama’ was inspired by this miles-spanning view of the Gulf, Port Isabel, and South Padre Island. The Gulf never looked bluer on a clear day than from these heights! The steep climb up the spiral staircase through the narrow passage makes me giddy, both from anticipation and the rise in elevation.”

Whether your top Texas view is in the Big Bend, the Big Thicket, or from your back porch, here’s to renewed wonder—and getting giddy now and then.

From the July 2014 issue

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