Longreads

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.

Sports |
January 21, 2013

It’s Baylor’s Moment

Lengthy features in Sports Illustrated and the New York Times celebrate the Bears’ unprecedented sports success and its implications for the university at large.

How to Raise a Texan |
January 21, 2013

Confessions of a Seventh-Grade Texas History Teacher

Bobby Jackson has taught students in the Aransas County school district about the Plains Indians, the Battle of San Jacinto, and Spindletop since the state celebrated its sesquicentennial. How he does it bears no resemblance to the class I took when I was stuck in middle school.

The Culture |
January 21, 2013

The Boys of the Dipper Ranch

On 50,000 acres that they have mostly to themselves (not including their hounds, mules, horses, cattle, chickens, piglets, and parents), Jasper, Trevor, and Tanner Klein live a life almost untouched by the modern world.

Texas History |
January 21, 2013

The Children of Texas

I was never certain how to explain the importance of the state to my three daughters. Now that I have two grandsons—named Mason and Travis, no less—I’ve realized something that I should have known all along. 

The Culture |
January 21, 2013

I Shall Never Surrender or Retreat . . .

. . . from teaching my fifteen-year-old daughter about her Texas roots. So when I realized I was failing to accomplish this most sacred of duties, I did what any well-meaning parent would do: loaded her (and her friends, of course) into the car and hit the road.

Technology |
January 21, 2013

Industrial Evolution

As much as anything, the Texas economic miracle depends on water. Lots of water. So what are all those power plants, refineries, and factories going to do as the state gets drier and drier and drier?

Politics & Policy |
January 21, 2013

Drawing Straws

The future is likely going to require us to move large amounts of water from wet but sparsely populated places (a.k.a. East Texas) to thirsty, booming cities. Good thing there’s a plan for that. There is a plan, right?

History |
January 21, 2013

The Writing on the Wall

The Lower Pecos River rock paintings were created four thousand years ago by a long-forgotten people. But their apparent message may be as useful today as it was then: Follow the water.

Music |
January 21, 2013

Girls Love Me

Austin Mahone is sixteen years old. He doesn’t have a record contract, a tour bus, or a backing band. But he does have more than 650,000 followers on Twitter and the email addresses of 2,000,000 fans. Meet San Antonio’s answer to Justin Bieber.

Feature |
January 21, 2013

Larry Hagman’s Curtain Call

As the man known to the world as Dallas's J. R. Ewing fends off throat cancer, he gears up to reprise the role that turned him into an icon and looks back on one of the most extraordinary—and eccentric—lives in show business.

Politics & Policy |
January 21, 2013

Truth or Consequences

In 2004 Dan Rather tarnished his career forever with a much-criticized report on George W. Bush’s National Guard service. Eight years later, the story behind the story can finally be told: what CBS’s top-ranking newsman did, what the president of the United States didn’t do, and how some feuding Texas

Energy |
January 21, 2013

Below the Surface

In 1996 a powerful South Texas ranching clan accused ExxonMobil of sabotaging wells on the family’s property. Thirteen years, millions of dollars in legal fees, and one state Supreme Court opinion later, the biggest oil field feud of its time is still raging.

The Culture |
January 21, 2013

Downward Dog

Over the past fifteen years, John Friend turned his Woodlands–based Anusara style of yoga into an internationally popular brand. Then, in the space of a few weeks, it became hopelessly twisted amid a wild series of accusations of sexual and financial improprieties.

Film & TV |
January 21, 2013

Lights, Camera, Carthage!

Nearly fifteen years after Richard Linklater and I started talking about turning a Texas Monthly story into a major motion picture, it’s finally hitting the big screen, with a little help from Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Shirley MacLaine—and a seventy-year-old retired hairdresser from Rusk named Kay Baby Epperson.

Style & Design |
January 21, 2013

The World at Her Feet

Twenty-year-old Jane Aldridge draws 400,000 readers to her style blog, Sea of Shoes, each month; has appeared in Vanity Fair; and once attended a private dinner with Karl Lagerfeld. The secret to her success? That she won’t leave Dallas behind.

Feature |
January 21, 2013

Home on the Range?

Texas Parks and Wildlife has embarked on an ambitious plan to restore the desert bighorn sheep population in Big Bend Ranch State Park. To accomplish this goal, the department has had to make hard choices about which animals live, which animals die, and what truly belongs in the Trans-Pecos.

Music |
January 21, 2013

That ’70s Show

Forty years ago, Willie, Waylon, Jerry Jeff, and a whole host of Texas misfits grew their hair long, snubbed Nashville, and brought the hippies and rednecks together. The birth of outlaw country changed country music forever.

Business |
January 21, 2013

Luv and War at 30,000 Feet

Somehow, as every other major airline went bankrupt, slashed its workforce, or grounded planes, Southwest Airlines kept flying high. Today, Southwest is the country’s largest domestic carrier. So how does a feisty underdog vanquish its competitors and dominate a thoroughly beleaguered industry? One Kick Tail-a-Gram at a time.

Texas History |
January 21, 2013

The Paper Chase

Houston attorney Bill Kroger and state Supreme Court chief justice Wallace Jefferson are on a mission to rescue thousands of crumbling, fading, and fascinating legal documents from district and county clerks’ offices all over the state. Can they save Texas history before it’s too late?

Feature |
January 21, 2013

Sex, Lies, and Hit Men!

Yvonne Stern knows that her husband, the wealthy Houston attorney Jeffrey Stern, had a steamy affair with a woman named Michelle Gaiser. And she knows full well that two years ago Gaiser hired a series of men to kill her. But she refuses to believe that Jeffrey was in on

Food & Drink |
January 21, 2013

Of Meat and Men

John Mueller was the heir to one of the great Texas barbecue dynasties. Aaron Franklin was an unknown kid from College Station who worked his counter. John had it all and then threw it all away. Aaron came out of nowhere to create the state’s most coveted brisket. Then John

The Culture |
January 21, 2013

Come and Take a Look at Me Now

Against all odds, Phil Collins has turned himself into a world-class Alamo buff who will happily talk your ear off about Santa Anna and Davy Crockett. Can you feel it coming in the Bexar tonight?