In a year that included both devastating losses from Hurricane Harvey and a thrilling World Series win, the Lone Star state has experienced plenty to write about in 2017. And from exoneration to Whole Foods to one scientist’s fight against the anti-vaccination movement, Texas Monthly writers have written enough longform to carry you through the rest of the year. So settle in and start reading—we’ll be bringing you more tales of Texas in 2018.

Debrow, photographed at the William G. McConnell Unit, a maximum-security prison in Beeville, on July 22, 2016.Photograph by Matt Rainwaters

The Prisoner, by Skip Hollandsworth

Late one night in 1991, a twelve-year-old boy pulled out a gun and killed a cab driver on the East Side of San Antonio. Twenty-five years later, Edwin Debrow remains in prison for that murder, with fifteen more years left on his sentence. Is that justice? And is there room for mercy?

terry allen
Terry Allen, photographed in Austin, in November 2016.Photograph by Leann Mueller

There and Back Again, by Jason Cohen

In 1962 Terry Allen left Lubbock to pursue what he couldn’t imagine ever happening in his hometown: 
a life as an artist. More than 
fifty years later, the sculptor, 
painter, playwright, 
and musician 
behind Juarez and Lubbock (On 
Everything) is 
ready for a return.

Photographs by Josh Huskin

The Faces of Obamacare, by Michael Hall

For many Americans, the controversial health law is government run amok. But for these people in San Antonio, it’s been a lifesaver.

Kerry Max Cook, photographed in Austin on December 10, 2016.Photograph by LeAnn Mueller

The Trouble With Innocence, by Michael Hall

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?

Photography by Jay B Sauceda

3,822 Miles, by Rick Bass

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

Illustration by JASON HOLLEY

The Not-So-Secret Life of Terrence Malick, by Eric Benson

The world’s most private director turns his lens on the place where he’s always been most public: Austin.

Former Dallas police chief David Brown.Photograph by Trevor Paulhus

The Empathy of David Brown, by Michael J. Mooney

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.

Jo Carol Pierce
Jo Carol Pierce.Photograph by Wyatt McSpadden

Bad Girls Get Old, by Jason Stanford

Thirty years ago, Jo Carol Pierce turned her Lubbock upbringing into a sublime musical about sex, suicide, and Jesus. Now 72, she’s ready for her third act.

Photograph by Darren Braun

Welcome to the Green Machine, by John Nova Lomax

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.

Photograph by the Voorhes

The Shelf Life of John Mackey, by Tom Foster

Whole Foods’ eccentric founder changed the way Americans consume food. Can he survive the Wall Street forces that now want to consume him?

Cody Crockett and Sydney Wallace, in July 2016.Erin Crista Smith

The Day the Fire Came, by Skip Hollandsworth

A tale of love and loss on the Panhandle plains.

A view of Urique Canyon.Photograph by David Ramos

The Drug Runners, by Ryan Goldberg

The Tarahumara of northern Mexico became famous for their ability to run incredibly long distances. In recent years, cartels have exploited their talents by forcing them to ferry drugs into the U.S. Now, with their land ravaged by violence, they’re running for their lives.


Voices From the Storm, by Texas Monthly staff

The story of Hurricane Harvey, as told by 28 Texans who helped their state through its darkest hour.

A Houston fan celebrates after the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series during a Houston Astros World Series watch party at Minute Maid Park on November 1, 2017, in Houston, Texas.Bob Levey/Getty Images

How the World Series Finally Vindicated Astros Fans, by John Nova Lomax

There’s been years of heartbreak. That’s what makes the Astros’ World Series win so sweet.

Hotez, photographed in his lab at the Texas Medical Center, on October 23, 2017.Photograph by Brian Goldman

Peter Hotez vs. Measles and the Anti-Vaccination Movement, by Laura Beil

Texas is at risk of a deadly measles outbreak, and yet few have been willing to cast blame on the state’s combative anti-vaccine movement. Enter Peter Hotez, an affable, bow-tie-wearing scientist who decided he’d had enough.