In the words of writer-at-large Joe Nick Patoski, “Texas rivers are magic.” For the third year in a row, Patoski kicks off the warmest months of the year with an ode to one of Texas’ incomparable rivers for our annual river issue. While he’s covered the Frio and the Nueces in the past, our unofficial river and swimming hole editor sets his paddle into a waterway closer to home—the Blanco. The Wimberley resident takes a swim in his neighborhood river nearly every day, and his story offers a comprehensive portrait of the Hill Country’s keystone river.
We also explore the magic of the El Paso-Juarez borderland and the area’s ever-evolving culture through the eyes of hometown photographer Joel Salcido. Lastly, we embark on the great pop culture pilgrimages of Texas as managing editor Kimya Kavehkar tours destinations featured in beloved television shows and movies filmed in the Lone Star state.