John Nova Lomax , a writer for our August 2018 issue, explored the migration of younger Texans from the big cities to the small towns in our state. For a variety of reasons, including space and a lower cost of living, as well as to be closer to their families, many are making the move. Below are the stories of a few such Texans I spoke to.
Celine Ord, 36, Radiation Oncologist, Fredericksburg
“We wanted to move back to Texas to be closer to our family and friends. If you’re a Texan, you always come back. Although we had planned to return to Austin, the perfect job opportunity presented itself in Fredericksburg. How could we refuse an opportunity to live in such beautiful town? We were thrilled to be able to bring our baby girl back to Texas after having her.
People are friendly, kind, and welcoming. It is a charming little town with many big-city amenities such as great restaurants, wineries, shops, and other amenities. You can’t beat the absence of traffic. You get to know people here because it is much more simple and less stressful. You feel part of the community and have a strong desire to help it. It brings out the best.
Brent Humphreys 42, Photographer, Taylor
Growing up, my dream was to own a property in the Hill Country. It was the idea of being able travel to your home and relax in nature. My family owned a small property in East Texas, near Mineola, when I was growing up in Dallas. I was inspired by the memories to find open space and land to explore with my kids.
After I moved to Austin I began looking for opportunities in the west. Because it was less populous and there were plans for the 130-mile toll road, I decided to look to the east. Taylor was home to a six-acre midcentury house on six acres. Eileen Gill, my friend and realtor, was the first to call me. We couldn’t believe the asking price. We were quick to mobilize the next morning.
After seeing the house and driving around town, I knew it was my deal. The small-town charm, rich heritage and history, as well as the strong sense of community are all things I love. It’s the calmness and connection you have with your neighbors and the larger community that I love. Taylor is an amazing place for James and me to raise our sons.
Alyson Fox 38, Artist/Designer Spicewood
“About eight years ago, our family bought land in Spicewood and built a home. We had planned to build an addition to our Austin house, but we started to think about other options. We had always wanted to build a house, but we decided to get it done sooner than expected. We were both eager to have more space so we started looking for land ourselves. It all clicked when we found the plot we wanted to purchase. Both of us are happy at home and enjoy socializing, but we also value peace and quiet, so moving outside of Austin seemed right. Both of us felt that we would both gain more than we would lose. I enjoy going on long, quiet walks outside our front door. It’s a great way to see more stars at night and it gives me the ability to be resourceful even when I don’t feel like going to town.