In many ways the Hill Country is the heart of Texas. It is only a few hundred feet higher than the surrounding areas in Central Texas but that small elevation change creates a unique climate zone. The temperatures are milder in the summer and cooler in the winter. Remnants of ancient maple and hardwood forests that once grew northward across the United States and into Canada still grow here.
The Hill Country is an especially important area for farming and ranching. It was settled in large part by German speaking immigrants who created excellent schools and cultural institutions. In fact German was commonly spoken and taught as a first language in parts of the Hill Country until after the Second World War. Today the language has disappeared but the cultural influence remains strong.
In autumn the mild temperatures and unique varieties of trees draw thousands of people to the area. In particular Lost Maples and Enchanted Rock State Parks are so heavily visited during the Fall that you have to make reservations just for a day trip. Fortunately there are many other scenic areas and byways crisscrossing the hills.
The photograph is of the Medina River just north of Bandera Texas, near the Southern edge of the Hill Country. I have been making photographs here more than ten years. The cycles of seasons, drought and abundant moisture are especially evident along the River. There have been times in recent years when the river was completely dry. Other times floods have ravaged the area, sometimes a few months apart. Today the river is at about average flow for the season. It moves gently along in the early morning sunshine.