Longreads

Criminal Justice |
October 21, 2015

The Outcast

A dark incident almost twenty years ago put Greg Torti on the sex offender registry for life. But the real story, he insists, is much more complicated.

Critters |
October 21, 2015

Sanctuary City

Will border politics crush Mission’s attempt to brand itself as the butterfly capital of America before that dream takes wing?…

Real Estate |
October 20, 2015

Can You Afford to Live Here?

You know you’ve seen it: condos multiplying, home prices tripling, realtors scrambling, buyers overbidding. Does our state’s fevered real estate craze make us the country’s best housing market—or the most overvalued? I went on a tour of our four largest cities to find out.

Media |
September 17, 2015

The Road to Damascus

In 2012 Austin Tice answered a calling: to become a war photographer and tell the world what was happening in Syria. But then he went missing.

Sports |
August 13, 2015

Mega Watt

He’s the best defensive player in the NFL but writes his own Christmas cards. He has thousands of fans who’d love to party, but he goes to bed at seven-thirty. He could be the league’s next MVP but enjoys buying his own groceries. Is Houston’s J. J. Watt for real?…

Environment |
August 13, 2015

Up in the Tower

The DuPont chemical plant in La Porte was once hailed as the safest around. Until the deaths of four workers exposed a darker truth.

Environment |
July 23, 2015

The Calm Before the Storm

Seven years since it was last ravaged by a hurricane, Galveston is doing as well as ever. Will it always be so fortunate?…

Politics & Policy |
July 22, 2015

The Agitator

He wasn’t diplomatic and he wasn’t subtle, but Curtis Graves forged a political path for black Texans—and altered history forever.

Religion |
May 21, 2015

For the Mouth Speaks

Catherine Grove walked away from the Church of Wells last month. Now, she and the elders of the East Texas church explain why she left—and why she returned to the congregation that many call a cult.

Film & TV |
May 14, 2015

Urban Cowboy Turns 35

It was part musical, part dance movie, and part love story, and in June 1980 it unleashed an unprecedented fervor for country music, Western wear, and, yes, mechanical bulls. More than three decades later, the film’s stars (including John Travolta, Debra Winger, Mickey Gilley, and Johnny Lee) and many Gilley’s regulars recall the movie that made America fall in love with Texas.

Music |
February 12, 2015

Plains Sound

Twenty-year-old Hayden Pedigo is making the most innovative, audacious music in the country. So why is he still in Amarillo? …

Politics & Policy |
February 6, 2015

To Love and to Cherish

In a 5-4 ruling on June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the Constitution guarantees the right for same-sex couples to marry across the country. Here is the story of two women who fought for that historic decision in Texas—and helped to make it a reality.

Essay |
January 14, 2015

My Brother’s Secret

Growing up in my family, there were things you just didn’t talk about. Like feelings. Or sex. Or dying from AIDS.

True Crime |
December 9, 2014

A Tree Is Known By Its Fruit

When the 85-year-old matriarch of a prominent pecan-farming clan in San Saba was murdered, her death shook the town—and exposed how obsession and greed can fell a family from within.

The Culture |
December 9, 2014

The Road From Crystal City

During World War II, Isamu Taniguchi was one of six-thousand-plus immigrants sent to a little-known internment camp in South Texas for being a suspected spy. In this excerpt from her new book, Jan Jarboe Russell uncovers how he and his family emerged unbroken.

Religion |
November 13, 2014

Man on Fire

The Reverend Charles Moore ardently dedicated his life to the service of God and his fellow man. But when he couldn’t shake the thought that he hadn’t done enough, he drove to a desolate parking lot in his hometown of Grand Saline for one final act of faith.

National Magazine Award Nominee |
August 12, 2014

The Witness

For more than a decade, Michelle Lyons’s job required her to watch condemned criminals be put to death. After 278 executions, she won't ever be the same.

Crime |
February 11, 2014

A Question of Mercy

In 1998 famously tough Montague County district attorney Tim Cole sent a teenager to prison for life for his part in a brutal murder. The punishment haunts him to this day.

Religion |
January 10, 2014

Sinners in the Hands

Twenty-seven-year-old Catherine Grove is a member of a small, insular, and eccentric church in East Texas. Her parents think she’s being brainwashed. She insists she’s being saved.

Agriculture |
November 14, 2013

Better Off Red

It’s not all sweetness and light in the grapefruit groves of the Rio Grande Valley.

Sports |
September 17, 2013

Failure Is Not an Option

Last year, UT forced prominent track-and-field coach Bev Kearney to resign because of her affair with a student. Now she’s fighting back, with a lawsuit that opens a window onto the world of high-stakes collegiate athletics—a window that many people would just as soon keep closed.

Music |
March 11, 2013

Chicks in the Wilderness

Ten years after their remarkable fall from grace, no one is quite sure why the onetime Nashville darlings tumbled so far—and never got back up.

Sports |
February 12, 2013

The Man Who Fell to Earth

After decades as one of the most admired athletes on the planet and one of the toughest competitors ever to ride a bike, Lance Armstrong is facing a new challenge: how to come back from a very public disgrace.