Texas Department of Transportation

Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine July 2020

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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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
stepping out

After nearly three months cooped up at home without traveling much farther than our local grocery stores, our staff is looking forward to future trips to some of our favorite Texas spots as well as exploring new ones. The first time I saw this month’s cover photo of the crystal-clear Nueces River, I immediately added it to the top of our family’s bucket list. After you’ve finished reading writer-at-large Joe Nick Patoski’s excellent portrait of the river and its environs, starting on Page 44, I’m betting you’ll want to add it to yours, too. Here’s where some of our other staff members are setting their sights: Tyson Bird, Digital Strategies Manager: I’m looking forward to visiting a region of Texas I’ve spent very little time in, but have always wanted to explore:…

2 min.
behind the story

Michael Barnes and Joe Starr, the co-authors of this month’s feature “In Search of Forgotten Rivers” (Page 36), have taken road trips together since attending the University of Houston in the 1970s. They started tracing Texas rivers before GPS was in widespread use; Barnes, who writes for the Austin American-Statesman, says they let the rivers be their guides. “In terms of tracing them, if you’re doing it by car and on foot, you’re seeing Texas in a completely different way,” he says. “We really got to know those backroads that most people never get to take.” The feature, along with “A Return to the River,” a July 2018 story by Texas Highways writerat-large Clayton Maxwell, will be included in the forthcoming anthology Viva Texas Rivers! Literary Portraits of the Waterways…

3 min.

Thank you for the enlightening article by Michael Hurd about Juneteenth in Texas (and beyond) in your June issue, and thank you, Mr. Hurd, for sharing your personal memories, history, and experiences, which added depth and color to the important historical information. Martha Tuzson Stockton, Austin On the Road You cannot go to Hico [“Back to Your Routes,” May] without stopping at the Koffee Kup Family Restaurant for some of their amazing pies! @saraleejam Texas Water Safari We have been team captains for our son for five or six safaris [“River’s Edge,” May], and it’s almost as grueling as it is for the paddlers. You are in a constant hurry to fix their water and food and meet them at all the checkpoints, and there’s little sleeping. @mamcrow56 Slowpoke Farm Market Joy always has a big welcoming smile, and…

1 min.
a dam fine respite

Photographer Kenny Braun discovered Wes Cooksey Park in Uvalde County while on assignment for this month’s feature story about the Nueces River (Page 44). “A local recommended that I check it out,” said Braun, who is based in Austin, “and it was indeed a great place to hang out, swim, and take in the beauty.” Located just north of State Highway 55, the park sits on the Nueces where a dam forms a spring-fed lake. The photo “has kind of a surreal quality because of my location under the bridge and the unique view of the river,” he said. In the summer, this same spot is often packed with people swimming, tubing, and paddling.…

3 min.

For Laura Brown, running a restaurant in the Gulf Coast community of Rockport-Fulton is all about building and rebuilding. Since she was a teenager in the 1990s, she has worked at Hu-Dat, a favorite spot for Asian food and an anchor of the local Vietnamese community. Brown became part of the Hu-Dat family when she married her childhood sweetheart, Binh Nguyen, and the couple took over the restaurant from Nguyen’s parents in 2013. In 2017, Brown and Nguyen, who have two children, opened Benchwarmers in the same building as Hu-Dat. The sports pub quickly became a popular stop for locals along with the retirees, sport fishermen, and birdwatchers who flock to Aransas Bay on vacation. Just months later, Hurricane Harvey destroyed Hu-Dat and damaged Benchwarmers. Brown and Nguyen reopened Benchwarmers…

14 min.
slaloming to freedom

I don’t have to close my eyes to go there in my mind. I didn’t close them when I was sitting in the second row of my grandmother’s funeral while my mind’s eye watched the summer breeze ripple the surface of Lake Sam Rayburn, my lime-green O’Brien slalom ski slapping against the water. I felt the tug on my arms and my shoulders as I leaned hard right to cut outside the wake, my ski and I becoming one. We lifted above the water as we jumped. I heard the clap as we landed again on the surface. I cut left and felt Rayburn razoring against my ankles. I zoomed back over the wake and watched our boat’s spray rainbow over my head. I jumped the second wake, cut again, watched the…