Texas Department of Transportation

Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine December 2019

Texas Highways, the official travel magazine of Texas, encourages recreational travel within Texas and tells the Texas story to readers around the world. Renowned for its photography, statewide events coverage, top weekend excursions, off-the-beaten path discoveries, and scenic destinations, Texas Highways helps readers discover the treasures of the Lone Star State.

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Texas Department of Transportation
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
turn off the lights

When my family and I moved to the Dripping Springs area three years ago, I remember noticing a few times that we’d left a light on outside—only to realize that the moon really was that bright in the clear sky. After growing up in the suburbs and living in Houston for years, I’d never imagined I’d be able to see the Milky Way from my back patio. It's one of the best parts of living in a rural area and more than makes up for not being able to get pizza delivered to your house or the spotty Wi-Fi. And though there are times when I wish for a few street lights to illuminate my drive home at night, I appreciate that my young children’s most common bedtime stalling tactic…

2 min.
behind the story

When asked to come up with 100 Lone Star–inspired books for every age, book critic S. Kirk Walsh turned to librarians, teachers, fellow writers, and multigenerational Texans. The list began to take shape as she delved into the deep reservoir of literature that defines and contributes to the complex layers of identity of our vast state. For the past 20 years, Walsh has reviewed fiction and nonfiction for several publications, including The New York Times Book Review and The San Francisco Chronicle, among many others. With the curation of this list, which you can find exclusively online at texashighways.com/100TexasBooks, we invite readers to a conversation about the past, present, and future of Texas literature. After perusing the wide-ranging catalog, let us know what books you would add by commenting on…

3 min.

Readers’ Retreat I’d been out of state for a month and was going through my stack of mail a bit overwhelmed and decided to sit back, slow down, and read a couple of the magazines from the stack. Texas Highways has come a long way! I like the bigger, better articles, and just the whole overall look. We have subscribed for 25 years or so, usually just thumbing through and moving on. It does pay to stop and slow down and enjoy things. I know I sure did. Danelle Dubose Brown, Ingleside Low and in the Pocket Bass is my first love, and I’ve played in local bands for over 40 years [“All About That Bass,” October]. I’m not a frustrated guitarist as some people suggest—I love to hold down the low end and…

3 min.
bay city

Bay City sprouted from the fertile bottomlands that stretch between the Colorado River and Caney Creek, just 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico. Taking the town’s name from the surrounding Bay Prairie, real estate speculators built Bay City in the 1890s, and by 1914, the region had become the United States’ largest producer of rice. To this day, the county is known for rice, as well as sorghum, cotton, corn, and turf grass. Bay City native Jerrilyn O’Neal Capers counts farmers among the ancestors of her family, which has been in the area for five generations. Capers spent 39 years working for the local school district, and in 2011 she joined the Matagorda County Historical Commission. Earlier this year, Capers helped dedicate a historical marker for the Palacios…

11 min.
back to the future

“Do you know much about this town?” “I suppose so,” I answered. I was starting across Main Street in Fredericksburg, a traditional German town in the Hill Country. The man, one of several tourists, had fallen in at my side. “Mind if I ask a question?” he said. “No, of course not.” I was looking at the two-story stone building where my mother gave birth to my older sister and me. The Keidel Memorial Hospital, once a venerable Fredericksburg institution, is now Der Küchen Laden, a high-end kitchen shop. Sauté pans, mixing bowls, and food processors fill the rooms where doctors once saw patients. “Is it right that this town was settled by escapees from concentration camps in Germany?” I heard him ask. His question was so confused, I almost stopped in my tracks. Fredericksburg…

6 min.
he is will beilharz. he speaks for the trees.

There is something about being suspended high in an ancient tree that makes you see the world in a new way. It’s a rare vantage with which Will Beilharz is intimately acquainted. As a teenager, Will worked for his family’s business, Cypress Valley Canopy Tours. It was one of the first zipline courses in the continental United States to send adventurers flying along cables through the treetops—in their case, centuries-old bald cypresses in the Hill Country. But while on a retreat to the forests of northern California after the 2011 Pedernales wildfire ripped through his family’s land, Will’s wheels started turning on another lofty venture. As he and some buddies spent the night suspended 275 feet high in a redwood tree, which the group had climbed, Will remembers thinking, “Wouldn’t it…