About Texas Hill Country
"During most of my life I have cherished the Hill Country, as have large numbers of my fellow Texans. It is a swath of rumpled terrain whose eastern and southern edge sweeps in an arc some two hundred miles long from the Austin area down past San Antonio and west to not far from Del Rio, on the Mexican border. This curving boundary is a rise of hundreds of feet from lower, flatter lands to the east and south and is known as the Balcones Escarpment or Fault Line, the result of an upheaval in Tertiary times. Here prairies end against heights dark with juniper and oak, the valleys between them watered by cypress-shaded rivers and creeks, the escarpment itself spouting forth great springs here and there from its cavernous aquifer. Containing all or parts of more than twenty counties, the hills have a less emphatic border on their northwestern inward side, where valleys and draws grow shallow and blend into the ranching grasslands of the wide, semiarid Edwards Plateau, of which the Hill Country itself is the eroded fringe.
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. Not much of it is spectacular in the manner of high mountains and craggy seacoasts and such places, but we care about it—the dissected, elevated landscapes unlike the areas where most of us live, the un-Texan cool spring-fed streams, the fishing and hunting if we’re inclined that way, the people and their towns and farms and ranches and their rather distinctive history."
- John Graves, Texas Hill Country (2003)