West Texas

The Wanderer|
September 6, 2012

Choose Your Own Texas Adventure

The first column I wrote for Texas Monthly appeared in the March 2000 issue. The article was titled “Voting Rites,” and I argued that the Voting Rights Act, which Lyndon Johnson had proposed to a joint session of Congress 35 years earlier, was the greatest accomplishment of his

The Wanderer|
August 27, 2012

Marathon: Get Outta Town

For many travelers, this far West Texas town is a last-chance pit stop before heading south to brave the wilds of Big Bend National Park. But, this past spring, after driving 407 miles (that’s roughly 7 hours and 143 country songs) from Austin to

The Wanderer|
August 27, 2012

Marfa: Trans-Pecos Gathering of Music + Love

In one of my favorite descriptions of Marfa, writer David McDannald points out that sometimes it’s “a shadow of a town” and sometimes it’s “a desert Mardi Gras.” At the end of this month, West Texas’s buzziest destination will be lit up like Bourbon Street on

The Culture|
July 31, 2011

Cowgirl Up

The word probably makes you think of rhinestone-studded jeans, floppy-brimmed hats, and Nashville queens, but “cowgirl” ought to stand for the tough pioneer women who built ranches and went on cattle drives and the hardy rural women who are out there today doing their fair share of the work, usually invisibly,

Eat My Words|
December 4, 2008

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

In January, the Gage Hotel, which is one of my all-time favorite romantic destinations in West Texas (well, the rooms in the Los Portales section are, not the ones with the bathrooms down the hall in the historic building–not so romantic running into some unknown dude in his

Business|
February 1, 2006

The Man In the White Hat

To hear John Poindexter tell it, he’s one of the good guys—a faithful steward of his West Texas land and therefore a worthy bidder for 46,000 acres of Big Bend Ranch State Park. But sometimes having your heart in the right place simply isn’t enough.

True Crime|
February 1, 2006

A Kiss Before Dying

Forty-five years after Betty Williams was shot to death by the handsome football player she had been secretly seeing, her murder haunts her Odessa high school—literally.

Feature|
August 31, 2004

Reversal of Fortune

Eight years ago, 42 people in the West Texas town of Roby—7 percent of the population—pooled their money, bought lottery tickets, and won $46 million. And that's when their luck ran out.

Music|
April 30, 2000

Wills Power

Sixty-five years after his first recording sessions with the Texas Playboys, 25 years after his death, Bob Wills is still the king of western swing.

Music|
April 30, 2000

Gotta Lubbock

Buddy Holly. Waylon Jennings. Carolyn Hester. The Hancocks. The Flatlanders. An oral history of the state's most storied music scene.

Travel & Outdoors|
September 30, 1997

The Real West Texas

High peaks, scant rain, and hardpan soil—but also high art, hip hotels, and a new telescope that’s a star in its own right: Snapshots from a remote region of our state unlike anyplace else on earth.

Travel & Outdoors|
September 1, 1985

Roaming the Range

Follow that ribbon of highway to discover the breathtaking River Road, a beer-drinking goat, fabulous fajitas, and the ghostly cavalry of Fort Davis—all in the vast vacation resource known as West Texas.

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