A native Texan and descendant of Sam Houston, MARSIA HART REESE became an Austinite in 1979. Having graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor's degree in English, she began professional writing and editing in 1980, when she joined the staff of the monthly magazine Austin Homes & Gardens. As its editor and a major feature writer, Ms. Reese was introduced to Austin's history while covering many of its historic landmarks, being welcomed into some of its finest homes, and profiling many of its talented and admired citizens. In 1987 she received the annual Press Award from the Austin Chapter of the National Society of Interior Designers. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, she edited textbooks on American and Texas history for Holt, Rinehart & Winston, where her appreciation for the past further deepened. As a freelance writer and editor since 1995, she has enjoyed opportunities to explore diverse subjects, including modern dance, herpetology, and antiques. She also tutors Asian students in English and makes her home near Austin's thriving downtown.