Limestone hills, cold spring-fed streams, live oaks and cedar, old German towns—the Texas Hill Country may well be the most beloved region of the state. Unlike West Texas with its dramatic expanses of plains and sky, or the eastern Piney Woods in their lush fecundity, the Hill Country never overwhelms. Its intimate landscapes of rolling hills, fields of wildflowers, and cypress-shaded rivers impart a peace and serenity that draws the urban-weary from across Texas and even beyond.
In this volume, two of the state's most respected artists join their talents to create an unsurpassed portrait of the Texas Hill Country. With an unerring eye for landscape photography, Wyman Meinzer distills the visual essence of the Hill Country—long vistas of oak-and-cedar-covered hills, clear streams running over rocks, bluebonnets turning fields into lapis-colored seas. His photographs also go beyond the familiar to reveal surprising contrasts and juxtapositions—prickly pear cactus delicately frosted with ice, black-eyed susans growing among granite boulders.
With an equally true feeling for what makes the Hill Country distinct, John Graves writes about the land and its people and how they have shaped one another. He pays tribute to the tenacious German pioneers who turned unpromising land into farms and ranches, the Anglo-American "cedar-choppers" who harvested the region's pest plant, and even the generations of vacationers who have found solace in the Hill Country. As Graves observes, "since well over a century ago, the region has been a sort of reference point for natives of other parts of the state, and mention of it usually brings smiles and nods."
Together, John Graves and Wyman Meinzer once again demonstrate that they are the foremost artists of the Texas landscape. The portrait they create in images and words is as close as you can come to the heart of the Hill Country without being there.
|Publisher:||University of Texas Press|
|Product dimensions:||10.10(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
John Graves lives and writes in Glen Rose, Texas, in the Hard Scrabble country that has inspired so much of his work. A recipient of many honors for his writing (including a National Book Award nomination for Goodbye to a River), he is a former president and a Fellow of the Texas Institute of Letters and a past holder of Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships.
Wyman Meinzer has published numerous books of photographs of Texas and has the distinction of having been named Texas State Photographer by the Texas Legislature. His work appears in magazines nationwide; he is a frequent contributor to Texas Highways and Texas Parks & Wildlife.
What People are Saying About This
"John Graves and Wyman Meinzer have proven themselves to be a winning combination in their books on the Texas sky and on Texas rivers, and this new volume is a worthy and logical addition to the franchise. In fact, of their three collaborations, I like this one the best. . . . These two artists clearly value the same things. They share a bone-deep appreciation of the landscape and a deep commitment to craft, and their work in this splendid book is mutually reinforcing."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Some may say Texans have a tendency to brag. Perhaps so. The truth is there's much that merits attention in the Lone Star State. At the top of any boasting list would surely be the beautiful Hill Country that is celebrated in this keepsake volume with narration by acclaimed author John Graves and some 75 striking full-color images by noted photographer Wyman Meinzer. Some of our land's most breathtaking landscapes and a melange of cultures are found in the Hill Country, a stretch of about 200 miles through the state capital, Austin, to colorful San Antonio, and further almost to the Mexican border. In the words of John Graves, a man who loves and understands his state, readers are privy to little known facts and moving remembrances as he pinpoints German architecture, small town life, and the wonders of nature. Marks left on this region by its varied settlers are noted - the effects of Native Americans, Spaniards, Mexicans, Western Europeans, and other pioneers. Vistas, as captured with the lens of Wyman Meinzer are incredible - stark outcroppings lean into the sky while miles of wildflowers delight the senses. Texas Hill Country will be treasured by historians, travelers and, of course, Texans.