“I must say as to what I have seen of Texas it is the garden spot of the world. The best land and the best prospects for health I ever saw, and I do believe it is a fortune to any man to come here. There is a world of country here to settle.”
Davy Crockett, 1836.
Many people have preconceived notions of what it’s like to live and work in Texas. However, may of those symbolic images that we see in our minds of cowboys, gunfights, and miles and cows as far as the eye can see, are quite different from what Texas is really like today. If you want to know the real Texas, just keep reading.
At an area of 267,338 square miles, Texas is a place where you can find just about any type of climate, culture, and geography. In recent years, the state has been a leader in business, education, and technology. Major industries in Texas include petroleum and natural gas, farming (cotton and livestock), steel, banking, insurance and tourism.
The capital city of Austin is located on the Colorado River in south-central Texas and is considered by many to be the live music capital of the world. Houston is the most populated city in Texas with a population over 2.2 million people. Other big cities in Texas include Dallas, Fort Worth, San Jose, San Antonio, and El Paso.
Landscape and Weather
Texas has a diverse landscape as well with coastal swamps, vast woodlands, beautiful beaches, hills and plains, desert and mountains. Whatever your taste in landscape, you can find it in Texas. The weather can also surprise you. The western half of Texas is humid and warm. The eastern half of the state is semi-arid. El Paso averages 8.7 inches of annual rainfall, while parts of southeast Texas average as much as 64 inches per year. Dallas in the North Central region, averages a more moderate 37 inches per year. Snowfall can come down in the northern part of the state and tornadoes and hurricanes can affect residents at certain times of the year. It can get very hot in the summer months with a maximum temperature average from the 80s °F in the mountains of West Texas and on Galveston Island to around 100 °F in the Rio Grande Valley. Most areas of Texas see consistent summer high temperatures in the 90 °F range.Thunderstorms and tornadoes go through the state as well, mostly in late summer and spring. Texan’s are well prepared for any type of weather as it changes often. It’s not uncommon for one day to be hot and warm and the next to be cold enough to need a coat.
Just a few of the companies that call Texas home are Exxon, Phillips 66, AT&T, Sysco, Halliburton Corporation, American Airlines, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, USAA, Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods Incorporated. Technology is big business in Texas with the state often being referred to as the Silicon Valley of the south.
Texas is a leader in the United States in export revenues. The Port of Houston is one of the top sea ports in the world in terms of total volume and the ship channel at the Port of Houston is the sixth-largest in the world. Dallas-Fort Worth International airport has been known as one of the best air cargo ports in the world.
Are you a sports fan? If you are, Texas is for you. Professional sports teams include the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Houston Astros, Houston Comets, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, and Texas Rangers.
If performing arts is more your taste, Houston has in residence companies in all of the major performing arts disciplines. The Houston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, and the Alley Theater are popular attractions for residents and visitors. The Houston Theater District is a 17 block area in Downtown Houston with 12,948 seats for live performances and 1,480 movie seats.
The Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art is Texas’s oldest art museum, founded in 1892. Other art museums include the Kimbell Art Museum, the Amon Carter Museum, the Will Rogers Memorial Center, the Bass Performance Hall.
Dallas has its own fair share of arts venues. The Dallas Museum of Art, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center are just a few of the major attractions. Jazz and blues music is also very popular in Dallas. The Deep Ellum district is a prime area for jazz and blues concerts.
If sports is more your taste, Texas has a variety of professional teams you can watch. Professional sports teams include the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Houston Astros, Houston Comets, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, and Texas Rangers.
If natural beauty and history is something you like to explore in your spare time, parks such as Big Bend National Park and the Alamo are great places to learn and admire the beauty of Texas. White sand and beaches are awaiting for those who need a relaxing break at South Padre Island.
Cost of Living
Texas is one of the few states that have no personal state income taxes. Many items are not taxed such as food (non-prepared). However, property taxes are one of the highest in the nation. This is balanced out in that property costs are among the lowest in the nation.