Travel & Outdoor
Texas Highways Magazine

Texas Highways Magazine September 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

1 min.
a new lens

When photographer Mabry Campbell took the shot of the Houston Water Wall that graces our cover, his aim was to make a well-documented sight look unrecognizable, disorienting even. The picture was taken before 2020, but looking at it now, it seems as if it was conceived to evoke the feeling of this year—when everything familiar is askew, not quite recognizable. For most of us, our daily lives have changed dramatically, and previously routine tasks are tinged with uncertainty about our health and security. For me, the counterbalance to the anxiety of the present is the new outlook it gives me on how much I have to be thankful for. Like being able to work on this magazine and knowing we are creating it for a community of readers who share in…

2 min.
behind the story

For “Mining for Mushrooms” (Page 69), writer Jill Coody Smits accompanied two mushroom foragers on a chanterelle search in Davy Crockett National Forest. Smits had never heard of mushroom foraging before reporting the story, but the idea of spending hours finding a single thing drew her in. “When I’m at the beach I like to shellseek,” the Austinbased writer says. “This was like that but in the woods.” There is one main difference between searching for shells and foraging for edible mushrooms: the latter can prove deadly, if you’re not careful. “I did some research beforehand, but I pulled up some mushrooms and the foragers were like, ‘No, those aren’t chanterelles,’” Smits says. “These guys really know what they’re doing. I would not have gone out by myself.” Accompanied by…

3 min.

Secret Rivers So many places to swim during these hot days, yet here we are looking at pictures [July issue]—but better that than taking foolish chances. Let us hope this time next year we’ll all get to enjoy these spots in person. Janet Joyce Keel Butler, Kerrville Lower Canyons I canoed this section of the Rio Grande while in high school [“The Lower Canyons,” July]. What a trip, and what a privilege! @EdytheThompson2 Coastal Cooking The first time I saw the Gulf was when my family went to Mustang Island for vacation in the summer of 1966 [“Catch of the Day,” July]. I still remember every detail so clearly. @franhdevine Life in Uncertain For five years I worked in Karnack and lived about nine months in Uncertain at the Flying Fish Motel [“We All Live in Uncertain,” August]. It was…

1 min.

Elevated Perspective Photographer Mabry Campbell encountered these grain silos on Farm-to-Market Road 774 near Austwell last year during a drive from Rockport to his home in Houston. “It was a minimalist scene everywhere I looked,” Campbell said of the miles of harvested fields interrupted only by the road, silos, and an occasional building. “It was one of those times where you feel you just drove into a photograph.” See more of Campbell’s work in his photo essay, “Texas in Wonderland,” starting on Page 46.…

4 min.

To go to the heart of Texas, literally, you must go to Brady. On the northwestern edge of the Hill Country, Brady is the town closest to the geographic center of the state. But this little ranching and farming community is the heart of Texas in another way, too—it’s the epicenter of traditional country music, what locals call “hardcore country.” And that’s why musician Justin Treviño calls Brady home. Blind since birth, Treviño grew up in Brownsville and Austin. He learned to sing and play guitar from his dad’s records and has released 13 albums of country music, including his classic tune, “Texas Honky Tonk.” Treviño was living in San Marcos, engineering and producing records for Heart of Texas Records, when in 2008, the label’s president, Tracy Pitcox, invited him…

14 min.
a place before words

I learned how to read a map before I ever learned how to read a book. In one of my first memories, I am 4 or 5, kneeling on a chair, trying to see without getting in anyone’s way. The Rand McNally map is spread over the dining room table. My father is standing with a thin black marker in his hand as his booming voice explains the route we’ll be taking. With infinite care, he traces the spidery red lines and thicker blue lines on the map from our home in the Rio Grande Valley town of Edinburg to the Panhandle. There is no background noise, no TV or radio noise, no fidgeting on my part or my siblings’. This is done with the seriousness and care of ritual.…