South Texas is an absolutely fascinating landscape rife with astonishing natural and cultural history. From Native American tribes roaming the coastal plains to early Spanish Conquistadors rowing ashore to our sandy beaches and even plying their ships far up the Rio Grande. Wars, such as the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War, have been fought over, on, and for this land and its precious resources. Today, the cultural history of this region is immense and delightfully influenced by both the United States and Mexico.
From a hand-drawn ferry crossing the Rio Grande, early colonial structures exquisitely carved from local sandstone, and Queen-Anne style Plantation homes harking back to the days of river boat commerce from New Orleans, to battlefields and archeological sites rich with history, the cultural sites to explore are not only uniquely varied but wonderfully preserved and presented to the intrepid explorer.
Of course, equally intriguing is the nature of the region… Dazzling sand covered barrier islands jut out from a bulge along the Gulf of Mexico where deep alluvial soils, deposited for millennia by the Rio Grande, have formed a rich delta flood plain. Here, Montezuma Bald Cypress lined resacas snake across the landscape, evidence of ancient river paths, and dense Tamaulipan Thornscrub provides home, habitat, and protection for some of the country’s few wild Ocelots. To the north, the South Texas Sandsheet, with its seemingly endless coastal prairies gradually blend in to the westerly Chihuahuan desert covered hills of the Bordas Escarpment where sand stone bluffs tower over a clear and fast flowing Rio Grande.
The geological, plant, and animal diversity of South Texas is as vast as it is unequivocally extraordinary. This sub-tropical region marks the northernmost range for many Mexican species that just barely touch into the United States here in Deep South Texas, some, such as the Star Cactus, are completely endemic to the region and adjacent habitat across the river in Mexico. Nature lovers, birders, butterfly watchers, and herpers all flock to South Texas to enjoy flora and fauna found no place else in the United States.
This website is dedicated to the richness of this region and will (hopefully) provide great insight into the cultural and natural history and a stepping off point to discover and explore it for yourselves. The author and photographer, Seth Patterson, grew up in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and has spent much of his life exploring and documenting the land, the people, the plants, and the animals. Should you have any questions, comments, clarifications, or corrections, please feel free to reach out! Thank you for visiting, and please, enjoy.