Texas is one of those places that are iconic in that everyone around the entire world has heard of Texas. Rich in history, natural resources, and amazing beauty that attracts people looking for romantic getaways in Texas.
Thanks to Hollywood, if you want to make a movie with a backwoods redneck sheriff in a county filled with ignorance, all you have to do is use Texas as the location. Yet Texas is modern, metropolitan, cosmopolitan, and diverse. You will find a much different mindset with the people of Texas, and I would have to say it's because of their history. Texans are fiercely independent, self-sufficient and self-reliant. Texas has done well in taking care of itself, yet outsiders are always insistent on how things should change.
Texas was largely ignored by Spain and France as they laid claim to the territory, focusing on gold to the South and fur to the North. Texas was a long journey from established settlements, but the Americas were a flurry of change as new peoples migrated to the new world. The United States was moving west, and Mexico was born from revolution. Texas eventually gained its independence and, some ten years later, became a part of the United States. The resulting war with Mexico brought even greater change to the continent. Not long after that Texas joined the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
What emerged was a unique community that learned how to take care of themselves, perhaps why Texas is such an iconic place. Love it or hate it, it's Texas.
The land is extremely diverse. There are coastal shorelines and subtropical weather in the southeast brings heat and humidity during the summer and the occasional hurricane. Woods and forests can be found in the east, and desert and grasslands to the west. The prairie made for good cattle country for which Texas is well known. The cowboy is alive and well and in his elements throughout the ranch lands though now he is more apt to ride in a truck more than on a horse.
The discovery of oil transformed Texas into an economic power in the 20th century, and everyone loves to hear the stories of people becoming millionaires overnight. For most, oil meant good jobs and a steady paycheck. The petroleum industry goes through its cycles, being up in some years and down in others. But the one thing about oil is that it can't be shipped overseas. Oil may go through years of being down, but it’s always there waiting to provide more jobs when the demand comes back.
The Texas Hill Country takes on a shimmering neon hue of blue in the spring when the bluebonnets start to bloom. There is virtually no other place on earth where the landscape transforms into a shimmering color when the flowers signal that spring has come. Parts of Texas may be hot and dry, but it's not unusual for north Texas and the panhandle to get dumped with snow during the winter.
Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio are among the biggest and most well-known cities. Houston and Dallas rival each other in diversity, people, and population. Each has its own major league sports team. Austin is the capital of Texas, while San Antonio is known for The Alamo but is a beautiful place to visit and a popular tourist attraction.
Major universities around here, such as Texas A&M, the University of Texas, Southern Methodist, Texas Tech, and the University of Houston, are more. Graduates from Texas institutions don't get jobs; they become leaders and lead the way for industry and government. Virtually every field is covered between medicine, animal science, biology, business, education, and engineering. Graduates of Texas institutions impact virtually every field of study you can think of.
Yet when most people think of Texas, they think of the cowboy working cattle on the range or some speculator hoping to strike it rich in the oil fields. Hollywood perpetuates untrue myths about Texas and Texans, and perhaps that's why these stereotypes persist. Texas is a land of beauty and abundant natural resources. When I think of Texas, I think of educated, hardworking, and self-reliant people. And most of all, people who are proud of who they are, where they came from, where they're going, and their place in the world.