My dad was an avid hunter—dove, quail, deer, the whole thing—and when my brothers and I were around seven or eight, he started taking us with him. He leased a ranch in San Saba County, and that was my first exposure to the Hill Country. My dad always had a sense of conservation, and it was our responsibility to clean up after deer season. We would make sure that all the garbage had been hauled off, that the cabin had been cleaned, and that the outhouse had been shaped up. We even checked the deer shed. He taught us a sense of stewardship of the land. I was always fascinated with our cabin, which had been built in the 1890’s and had served at various times as a dance hall, a community center, and a general store. It was a really cool, squat adobe structure that was in the middle of the ranch. It was a great experience.

Thomas Haden Church was born in El Paso and lived in Fort Worth, Laredo, and Harlingen, where he graduated from high school in 1979. Best-known for his role as Lowell in the television series Wings, he stars alongside Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell in the film 3,000 Miles to Graceland, which opens in theaters in February.