Longreads

Features |
May 25, 2017

Welcome to the Green Machine

My son was jobless, directionless, and apartmentless. So when he decided to join the Army, we were just glad he was out of the house. What we didn’t know was just how much the military would change him—and us. 

Politics & Policy |
May 21, 2017

The Empathy of David Brown

In the turbulent days after a gunman murdered five officers last year, the Dallas police chief was the voice of compassion and unity that the city and country needed. The way he sees it, his entire life had been preparing him for that moment.

Feature |
April 19, 2017

3,822 Miles

One man's quest to fly the length of Texas's perimeter and capture the nature of our boundaries.

Sports |
March 22, 2017

Star Rocket in Flight

With slick television ads promoting his signature Adidas, hip-hop songs dropping his name, a possible MVP award, and the most famous beard since ZZ Top, James Harden has arrived. In fact, he may just be the biggest name in Texas.

March 22, 2017

The Trouble With Innocence

For almost forty years, Kerry Max Cook did everything to clear his name after being convicted of a horrifying murder in Tyler. So when he was finally exonerated, why did he ask for his conviction back?

Music |
February 23, 2017

The Underdog’s on Top

Country singer Aaron Watson wears denim, loves two-steppin', and sings about bluebonnets without irony. Which gets him little attention in Nashville—but plenty of love everywhere else.

The Culture |
December 30, 2016

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

In the age of gastropubs and microbreweries, Texas still boasts a few real dive bars—where the jukebox is irreplaceable, the beer is domestic, and the patrons feel like family—if you know where to look.

Libations |
December 30, 2016

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

In the age of gastropubs and microbreweries, Texas still boasts a few real dive bars—where the jukebox is irreplaceable, the beer is domestic, and the patrons feel like family—if you know where to look.

Books |
December 21, 2016

Let the River Run

Wes Ferguson has paddled and walked all 87 miles of one of the Hill Country’s most prized waterways. In this exclusive excerpt from The Blanco River, he uncovers a few of its natural secrets.

Politics & Policy |
November 23, 2016

Lost and Found

They have fled war-torn countries, given up livelihoods, and left behind possessions and family for the safety of a foreign world of cowboy hats and Walmarts. But the refugees who land in Amarillo’s Astoria Park have an ally who understands their confusion and loss: a 64-year-old former teacher named Miss

Business |
November 23, 2016

Crossed Stitches

Beverly Pennington was a Pinterest-perfect entrepreneur whose patchwork quilts—made from people’s most treasured T-shirts—found thousands of devotees all over the country. But when the quilts stopped coming, leaving the shirts in limbo, her customers pieced together a plan to fight back.

Politics & Policy |
November 22, 2016

The Televangelism of Ken Paxton

It’s been a difficult two years in office for Texas’s attorney general. First came his indictment on multiple felonies, then an embarrassing series of missteps and staff shake-ups. Now, with his trial looming, he’s seeking salvation one live television interview at a time.

Sports |
October 19, 2016

Orange Crush

Who needs the playoffs? After years (and years and years) of heartache, Houston has fallen for the Astros all over again.

Health |
October 19, 2016

The Iconoclast

Jim Allison has always gone his own way—as a small-town-Texas kid who preferred books to football, and as a young scientist who believed the immune system could treat tumors when few others did. And that irreverence led him to find a potential cure for cancer.

Lead |
September 21, 2016

Trash Talk

The scion of one of Laredo’s first families wants to build a mammoth landfill on his ranch. But the opposition is fierce and vocal—and backed by none other than his uncle and his cousin.

Food & Drink |
September 21, 2016

Snow’s Queen

On Saturdays Tootsie Tomanetz cooks barbecue the old-fashioned way for legions of loyal fans. That doesn’t mean she’ll ever give up her day job.

Books |
September 15, 2016

True Western

Paulette Jiles wasn't born in Texas, but she started writing novels set here as fast as she could.

Art |
September 14, 2016

Fame in the Abstract

Dorothy Hood was one of Texas’s greatest artists, yet her work remains largely unknown. Now, sixteen years after her death, can her fans bring her the acclaim she never received in life?

Law Enforcement |
September 9, 2016

Cops and Robbers

They were some of the toughest narcs on the border, known for busting smugglers, staging raids, seizing cartel cocaine—and being dirty.

Books |
August 24, 2016

The Yes Man

He was just a regular kid in South Texas, until a brush with the law propelled Gabriel Cardona into petty crime—and the service of a drug lord rising to power across the Rio Grande. In this exclusive excerpt from Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel, Dan

Science |
August 24, 2016

When the Dust Settles

After Texas Tech researchers discovered that windstorms may be spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria from local feedlots, public health experts stood up and took notice. So did the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

Critters |
August 24, 2016

Ruffled Feathers

When a teenage boy brazenly shot two endangered whooping cranes outside Beaumont, his act unleashed widespread anger and resulted in a quick arrest—and revealed just how difficult it can be to save a species. 

Politics & Policy |
August 11, 2016

Remember the Christian Alamo

Evangelist Lester Roloff drew a line in the dirt to keep the State of Texas from regulating his Rebekah Home for Girls. Years later, then-govenor George W. Bush handed Roloff's disciples a long-sought victory. But this Alamo had no heroes—only victims.

True Crime |
August 2, 2016

96 Minutes

At 11:48 a.m. on August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman began firing his rifle from the top of the University of Texas Tower at anyone and everyone in his sights. At 1:24 p.m., he was gunned down himself. The lives of the people who witnessed the sniper’s spree firsthand would never

Business |
July 20, 2016

Countdown to Liftoff

Sleek, shiny rockets on sleepy, shifty sands: as SpaceX prepares to build in South Texas, I wonder if my old stomping grounds can handle the inevitable collision of cultures. I sure hope so.

The Culture |
July 20, 2016

Faith and Hope

The country’s largest group of Muslims live in Texas, yet many of them don’t feel welcome here. A few young and progressive leaders—like Irving imam Omar Suleiman—are working to change that.

True Crime |
July 13, 2016

The Murders at the Lake

In 1982 three teenagers were killed near the shores of Lake Waco in a seemingly inexplicable crime. More than three decades later, the tragic and disturbing case still casts a long, dark shadow.

Texas History |
June 16, 2016

Off Course

I never knew my father, a decorated World War II pilot who died before I was born. But a trek at age 67 to the site where his airplane crashed brought me closer to him than I’d ever dared hope.

Sports |
June 9, 2016

The Shot Not Heard Round the World

Elmo Henderson’s entire life story can be summed up in a single moment: when he stepped into the ring in San Antonio one night in 1972 and knocked out Muhammad Ali. At least that’s the way he tells it. And tells it.

Science |
April 15, 2016

Unfriendly Climate

Katharine Hayhoe has made it her life’s mission to proclaim the truth about climate change. Can she get the skeptics to listen?