Texas Country Reporter turns fifty in October 2022. Each week until then, we’ll share classic episodes from the show’s history and behind-the-scenes reflections from TCR’s creator and host, Bob Phillips.

There are still quite a few legacy ranches left in Texas, and as I’ve mentioned before in this series, we’ve been lucky in our travels around the state to get to spend time on several of them—6666 Ranch, Pitchfork, Waggoner, and King Ranch, to name a few. In all of those places, you’ll still see cowboys on horseback, and they still round up cattle for branding, just like in the movies.

So imagine my surprise when we showed up to witness an old-fashioned cattle drive and the owner of Huebner Brothers Cattle Company, Jack Huebner, showed up in waders and a fishing hat.

For more than a hundred years, the cowboys of the Huebner ranch, which borders the Gulf of Mexico, have driven their herd across the mouth of the Colorado River to their winter pastures on Matagorda Peninsula, which, for all practical purposes, is more like an island. The only way the cows can get there is to swim. Then, come spring, they do it all again in the opposite direction.

In this episode from 1998, we tagged along for the historic tradition, which is still carried on to this day. For all of us wannabe cowboys, it doesn’t get any better than that.