Senior editor Pamela Colloff has written countless crime stories during her twelve-year career at Texas Monthly . But few have affected her as much as “ Flesh and Blood ,” about a teenage girl who asked her boyfriend to kill her entire family. “The crime was so brutal, so cold-blooded, that I wanted to understand how people reach that point,” Colloff says. “Usually the more I look at a case the more I understand it. But the opposite happened here. After months of reporting, my work only raised more questions.”
Barry Blitt’s name may ring a bell, because he is one of the industry’s most gifted illustrators. But you might also remember the dustup the Montreal native caused last July when he drew the Obamas for the New Yorker—ironically, of course—in the Oval Office with assault rifles, turbans, and a picture of Osama bin Laden. “The attention didn’t affect me,” he says, joking, “except sometimes it gives me the confidence to ask for more money on future assignments.” Luckily, one of those assignments, “ Rain, Rain, Go Away ,” about the Texas economy.
Creating the dramatic shot for this month’s cover entailed more than just lugging equipment up a steep climb to a remote spot. In fact, Andy Anderson started 550 miles away, at the Padre Island National Seashore . However, the weather conditions there were so poor that the Idaho-based photographer headed west, to Mount Livermore, in Fort Davis , for plan B. That’s where he captured a classic image of a trail ride over rugged terrain. “There are a lot of things I guess I could choose to do with my life,” he says. “Photography is the path I choose.”