Along the I-35: From San Antonio to Austin
“Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word.” — John Steinbeck
Texas is its own planet where traveling between its cities, small or large, can be like traveling between worlds. It’s a place where adventure seeks you once you get on the road. Leave the itinerary at home and bring an open mind instead.
While parts of San Antonio are blatant tourist traps, other parts offer quintessential American history. Upon glance, flashing lights and souvenir shops are what the River Walk might have to offer, but look closely, and you’ll notice the past on every street corner. Just outside of the downtown area is where the landmark relics are: the Spanish missions. Sitting along the San Antonio River, these are monuments to be admired and gathering spaces for local communities. Regardless of religion, culture, or purpose, everyone should visit these sites.
After appreciating the past, it’s time to head elsewhere. Stops are made along the way, from small towns to tiny towns to just plain, dirt roads. Coffee and pastry breaks are taken in New Braunfels and Gruene. Central Texas Barbecue is not missed either.
Eventually, we make our way to Austin, the state’s capital. Sitting along the Colorado River, the city is currently expanding like no other in the U.S., and with excessive growth comes unique opportunities and obstacles. Far from the countryside, we’re now in a 21st-century city with high-rises and bike lanes. Yet, not far from the corporate tech center of the city are local culture to be found. From breakfast tacos to handmade neon lights, Austin seems to have everything one could ask for. Hell, even a simple night stroll around the Texas Capitol Building will leave anyone in awe.
The journey eventually continues to Houston, with a stroll made in the tiny, quaint town of Brenham along the way. While we may not have driven more than 500 miles, it feels as if it’s been a multinational, cross-country trip. And yet, I have only scratched the surface of the state. Lots can be said about the place, but one cannot deny that it’s an area where diverse cultures and experiences exist like no other. A spontaneous road trip in the Lone Star State will scratch the itch for those who dream of time traveling.
All images were made with a Fujifilm x100v with the Classic Neg simulation. Exposure and crop were edited in post.