Texas has hill country? Who knew? Well, the Lonely Planet guide to Texas, which calls the Hill Country “rightfully one of the state’s biggest tourist draws . . . an area of gently rolling hills and valleys freckled with cacti and cattle ranches, lined with rivers and dotted with peaceful, picturesque little towns.” And any self-respecting Texan might know as much. Forty miles west of Austin and fifty north of San Antonio, the Hill Country is within an easy drive of two of the state’s biggest cities, putting back-country quiet and beauty within reach of countless urban dwellers seeking respite.
Gary Clark is the weekly nature columnist for the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News and a professor at Lone Star College-North Harris. The winner of eight writing awards, he also publishes feature articles in state and national magazines and has written several books, including Backroads of the Texas Hill Country, Texas Wildlife Portfolio, and Portrait of Houston.