In his three decades as a TEXAS MONTHLY contributor, Austin photographer Wyatt McSpadden has taken his share of portraits: of pitmasters and pickers, businessmen and Bandidos. But he particularly relished the chance this month to have a fellow artist—the Western painter Wayne Baize, known for his thoughtful and exacting scenes of cowboy life—on the other side of his lens ( “All the Pretty Horses” ). “Wayne is very talented, and he had an artist’s understanding of what I was trying to accomplish,” McSpadden says of his subject.
When H-E-B owner Charles Butt asked Oscar Cásares to read his work at the grand opening of an H-E-B in McAllen, Cásares’s parents were thrilled. H-E-B was where his mother, as an employee in the fifties, had first put her English into practice, so the store held special significance for her, which Cásares writes about with humor and poignancy in “Hecho en Brownsville.” “My mother has a hard time believing people are going to be interested in her life,” Cásares says. “But she’ll thank me for sharing this memory of my late father, and then she’ll want to know what el señor Butt thought about the story.”
When he’s not teaching journalism at Texas Southern University, former Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine editor Michael Berryhill likes to watch the whooping cranes that winter in the marshes a few miles from his house in Seadrift. The nearby Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, a natural habitat for the endangered species, is ground zero in the legal battle between the state and environmentalists over their protection. “The trial represents a mother lode of scientific and legal information that couldn’t be compressed in the story,” Berryhill says of the piece. “It calls for a book.”