…As seen on the backside of an unoccupied commercial building at Hopkins x Fredericksburg, San Marcos, TX. I am assuming the letters “TXHC” represent the Texas Hill Country, which is undoubtedly one of the fastest-developing regions in the country.
It is not just retiring Texans who are moving to the Hill Country, but now also those in states that are attracted to the Tuscan-like hills of limestone and caliche soil. And the rapid development of small-town TXHC and the encroachment of Austin’s and San Antonio’s urbanization is an issue neither endemic to Texas nor relevant only in the 21st century. Here is a 1985 article in the Wilmington [N. Carolina] Morning Star (penned by the NYTimes news service) that is written from point of views of former Texas Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong (personally) and Austin (geographically).
The New York Times recognized the Hill Country in 2007, calling attention to its “matured” cuisine (pan-seared scallops with chipotle lime hollandaise? YES, PLEASE!), and again in 2008 when the TXHC was put in the top spot of the paper’s “31 Places to Go This Summer”.
As a native San Antonian, many parts of the TXHC have been my playground: lakes Medina and Canyon; the Comal, Guadalupe, Frio, Blanco and San Marcos Rivers; family properties in Mason, Spring Branch, Kerrville and Medina County; and campgrounds on hillsides, in live oak glades and along riverbeds. I have watched KB Homes choke up Highway 281 north of SA in favor of careless cookie-cutter development, and observed Austin absorb the small towns to its north and south along Interstate 35. And now I live in San Marcos, halfway between the two cities, and am proud to participate in the “stay local” spirit of the city’s involuntary growth. TXHC locales have done a good job maintaining their friendly, relaxed climate, and I hope they continue to do so through the next decades.
Stay true, TXHC, stay true as the urban sprawl approaches your communities…
because it eventually will.