People. Places. Wide-open spaces. These interwoven elements define the state of Texas like nowhere else. And they enrich every issue of Texas Highways, none more than the special September edition in your hands. This month, we shine a spotlight on the independent spirit and boundless imaginations of Extraordinary Texans (beginning on page 40), tap our well­traveled writers for their favorite places (“Playing Favorites,” page 50), and reveal some of our photographers’ most cherished landscapes (‘Amazing Scapes,” page 60).

This blend of human fortitude and natural expanse speaks to Texas’ allure around the world. We regularly hear from readers far and wide who revere Texas· mystique and scope. To borrow from hotelier Conrad Hilton, people immersed in such vastness draw it into their souls. They “dream big dreams, think big thoughts, because there is nothing to hem [them] in.”

We certainly couldn’t hem in newly retired TH Photography Editor Griff Smith. Over his 30-year career, Griff figures he’s logged some 250,000-plus miles on Texas highways photographing for the magazine—everything from courthouses and painted churches, to deviled eggs and Dr Pepper, to ghosts and a giant ball of barbed wire. We’ll miss Griff’s glorious images—with equal attention given to the tiniest architectural detail and the vastest vista-along with his endless creativity and wise and wacky outlook on our world. TH contributor Eric Pohl nicely sums up what Griff’s talents have meant to Texas travelers: “Your work has inspired me and a lot of people throughout the years to enjoy every corner of the Lone Star State. Thank you for that.”

In September, a compilation of some of Griff’s favorite images will be released in a book from Texas A&M University Press titled On the Road With Texas Highways: A Tribute to True Texas. Keep an eye peeled for an opportunity to order at, and another for a chance to catch Griffin upcoming months at various book signings and exhibit open­ings (see page 83). Also, stay tuned for our excerpt of the book next month.

New TH Photography Editor Brandon Jakobeit has himself trekked more than a few miles on the state’s roadways. Enjoy his soulful take on landscape photography in the “Amazing Scapes” story. Those enchant­ing panoramas sun1n10n the roamer in all of us.

From the September 2014 issue
The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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