As many of you know, I attend Texas State University in San Marcos; the heart of Texas in the Hill Country. Ever since I became passionate about photography, I have always loved photographing nature and everything it has to offer. But recently I have realized it is slowly disappearing right before our eyes and unfortunately, not much is being done about it. Just a little fun fact: San Marcos is currently the fastest growing city in the United States. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Texas and is well known for the San Marcos River flowing through Texas State University’s campus. Texas State can hardly regulate the abundance of students applying each Spring because there just isn’t enough room for the large number of students moving to San Marcos so quickly. Many new apartment complexes currently being built are six months behind their date of completion. Hundreds of Texas State students have been living in hotels because the complexes couldn’t meet completion deadlines. The city is just growing too fast for people to handle. I’m happy so many students are eager to move to San Marcos to go to college and experience all that it has to offer. However, it is also unfortunate because so much of the beautiful land in this city and on the river is being sold as future sites of student housing. I have been living in San Marcos since 2011 and have seen the city and river change drastically.
I grew up on the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers in New Braunfels and it wasn’t until I got out of high school that I had even heard of the San Marcos River. I wonder now why my family never wanted to go there instead of New Braunfels. The San Marcos River is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have ever experienced. There is just no other river like it. Maybe its because both the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers are so commercialized that I appreciate the peace of the San Marcos River more. I don’t know. But living in San Marcos for the last few years has made me appreciate nature overall more than I ever have in my life. Seeing the city of San Marcos and what it’s known for change so quickly is a little heartbreaking. This change persuaded me to start photographing some of the most peaceful and isolated spots on the river while I still can. Because soon, they will be gone and will never be the same. The popular spot known as Thompson’s Island has already changed so much in such a short period of time. Once accompanied by Cape’s Camp, the site will soon be accompanied by a five story river front apartment complex. Many locals fought to oppose it but were sadly overruled. I think what saddens me the most are the people who were raised in San Marcos and are still current residents, are going against what they once stood for. Money is now the ruler in this city. Money over nature. And there isn’t a whole lot that the locals who do care and want to see a change for the better can do about it. I will always love San Marcos and call it home, but it’s heartbreaking to see it and all of it’s wonders slowly disappear all because of money. It reminds me of the song They Call It The Hill Country by Randy Rogers.
They call it the hill country, I call it beautiful
I’d call it progress if it could be saved
They call it the hill country I call it home
But what will they call it
When it’s levelled and paved?
Below are images I took one day of the San Marcos River. I purchased a neutral density lens filter specifically for these kind of photos and decided to put it to good use. I woke up November 18th at 6:00 am to catch the steam rising above the water on the river after a cold front came in. I spent a few hours at Rio Vista, Thompson’s Island, and at Headwaters. I finished this collection at noon. These images are some of my most prized possessions and will remain some of my favorites I have ever taken. These reflect what I will always see the river as, and I can only pray that it stays this way. If you ever have the chance to visit San Marcos, be sure to visit the river and all it has to offer. It’s truly a gem of Texas and something that deserves to be preserved and taken care of. There is no other river like it. These photos are available for purchase. Please comment or fill out a contact form to receive information on pricing. I have received a ton of feedback on this collection and quite a few requests to sell prints. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.