A quote from one of our stories this month struck me as an apt metaphor for creating a travel magazine during a pandemic. Texas A&M professor Andreea Botezatu describes the qualities of natural wine as reflecting “a sense of place, of time, the conditions of the year … They’re an expression of the moment.” Typically, our goal is to share stories that are rooted in place but unbound by time, so a reader can pick up any issue at any moment and be inspired to take a trip. In a normal year that means planning most of our content about 12 months before it publishes so we can capture seasonal photography and allow writers the time to travel, research, and fine-tune their stories.
Perhaps more than any other 2020 edition, our October issue reflects the conditions of this particular year at this particular moment. We had planned a splashy illustrated cover on the State Fair of Texas, but in early July the state fair was canceled for the first time since World War II. So instead of a definitive guide, illustrator Mike Lowery soothes our disappointment with an homage to the iconic event. And while the Pilot Point festival that inspired our Bonnie and Clyde story has also been canceled, writer-at-large Sarah Hepola forged ahead with a nuanced rumination on our complicated fascination with the outlaw couple. I’m proud of the way our contributors and staff have continued to adeptly respond to chaotic times without wavering in their commitment to delivering meaningful and engaging stories about Texas’ people and places.
When we decided on a pecan pie as our cover star, it was with a nod and a wink to the one thing we’ve all been able to count on this year: comfort food. While I’ve made my fair share of banana breads over the past six months, I’m looking forward to challenging my baking skills by tackling this renowned Texas dessert. I hope you enjoy this issue with a slice of something sweet.
Emily Roberts Stone
Editor in Chief