Aubrie Iverson

Texas State piano festival welcomes participants worldwide

Ad for San Marcos area running in Times Square

Residents have seen an increase in tourism, construction and business openings over the past several years as Texas State's enrollment numbers continue to rise, and the U.S. Census Bureau dubbed San Marcos the fastest-growing city of its size.

Now, the buzz about San Marcos has made it all the way to New York City.

Photo roundup project meant to preserve history of San Marcos

Downtown San Marcos was not always the collection of bars and restaurants that it is now. For many decades, The Square was the city’s center of commerce, and the San Marcos Main Street Program is on a mission to commemorate that history.

Led by program manager Samantha Armbruster and partnered with the Hays County Historical Commission, the Heritage Association of San Marcos and the San Marcos Public Library, local residents were invited to the historical downtown courthouse Wednesday to share photographs and memorabilia. The personal collections were then scanned and archived before being returned to their owners.

“San Marcos is changing so quickly,” Armbruster said. “We wanted to capture its history before it’s too late.”

Four tips for stress-free finals

With the semester drawing to a close and comprehensive exams looming, Bobcats across campus are buckling down to pass their class finals.

While the infamous all-night study session is a reality for many students, experts and administrators agree it does not have to be. With some careful time management and organization, students facing a brutal exam schedule can ease their anxiety and decrease the number of sleepless nights spent mentally chained to textbooks and an Alkek desk.

Texas State alumnus turns Dumpster into residence

The idea that Dumpsters are capable of sustaining much more than cockroach life is a stretch for most. But to one Austin professor and Texas State alumnus, life in a Dumpster is the key to sustainability.

Jeff Wilson, self-described hipster and cheerful adopter of the nickname “Professor Dumpster,” has been camping out in a 6-by-6-foot dumpster on the Huston-Tillotson University campus in East Austin since February. Wilson, who has taught environmental science at several Texas universities and currently serves as an associate professor and dean of Huston-Tillotson’s University College, feels right at home.

Peace Paper Project aids Texas Wild Rice survival

For artists Margaret Mahan and Drew Matott, papermaking is a means of therapy.

Mahan and Matott’s Peace Paper Project has been touring and teaching across the United States and international borders since the duo decided to expand their focus in 2011. The two broadened the Combat Paper Project, which focused on American veterans and combat victims, to any group that may benefit from the ancient technique of paper preparation.

“It’s amazing how universal papermaking is,” Mahan said. “The people we teach take a risk in making their first sheet, but after that, they’re hooked.”

A glimpse into the life of Alkek Library’s namesake

One of the most instantly recognizable images of Texas State is Albert B. Alkek Library, a giant, seven-story home to thousands of documents, works of art, films and other resources for students. Though most Bobcats pass through or by the library each day, few are aware of the prolific life of the building’s namesake.

Albert B. Alkek was no stranger to philanthropy. The accomplished businessman amassed considerable wealth as a player in the South Texas petroleum business in the first half of the 20th century and donated much of his wealth back to the Texas
community.

Community orchestra crescendos in its fifth year

After four decades the San Marcos Artists’ Retention and Training Orchestra is finally filling a long-standing void: creating San Marcos’s own community orchestra.

The nonprofit organization known as S.M.A.R.T. Orchestra was founded in 2009 by music educator Christopher Hanson. The ensemble began with a collection of string students from public schools and has since expanded to include both wind and string players of all ages. Approximately one-third of the group made up of adult musicians from the San Marcos area.

San Marcos filmmakers to debut documentary at South by Southwest

Several residents have collaborated to turn their self-described “intimate relationship” with the San Marcos River into a cinematic experience scheduled to premiere at the South by Southwest film festival.

“Yakona,” a locally produced documentary titled after a Native American word that means “water rising,” follows the flow of the San Marcos River without narration, using what directors Paul Collins and Anlo Sepulveda call pure cinema style.

“We wanted the focus to be the images and that was the perfect vehicle,” Sepulveda said. “The river doesn’t have a voice, doesn’t speak our language. It became a creative challenge that kept us focused on a specific, unique way to tell a story.”

Hip-hop artist celebrated with event in Austin

A group of San Marcos and Austin residents joined forces Saturday to celebrate the birthday and legacy of one of hip-hop’s most influential producers, Dr. Dre.

The event, called Dre Day, is modeled after a theme held by Burlesque of North America, a graphic design company in Minneapolis. The annual bash began in 2003 and has since spread throughout the U.S. in cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.

“I don’t know how many parties are going on that we don’t know about, but the goal is to turn it into a national holiday,” said Mike Davis, principal and creative director at Burlesque of North America and one of the original coordinators for Dre Day.

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