I was born on the San Antonio River at the NIX hospital downtown, and when I moved back to San Antonio a few years ago, my wife and I found a house that is minutes away from the San Antonio River and the Salado Creek Greenway. Being in one of the oldest parts of town, it offers a unique opportunity for nature encounters, and it also brings to mind why we are here and our connections to the past.
In Texas, we all know about the mild winters, the abundant sun, and of course, the adaptations we make to deal with the hot summers—iced sun tea, tubing on the Guadalupe, or lounging at the coast. But why did people come to Texas and then settle and stay? It is the environment—the rivers, the trees, and the landscapes.
Running along the rivers and creeks from the Blue Hole of the San Antonio River near Brackenridge Park, through downtown, and to the Mission Reach on the south side, the evidence is plain to see. There are the old mills, the breweries, and of course the old Spanish Missions. Water is life and industry, and it feeds not only us, but the fish, the birds, and assorted wildlife. Every time I am out there, I see nature thriving, and am reminded of how many have come and gone for hundreds of years.
The areas along the rivers and creeks have been well managed the last few decades, and wildlife diversity is thriving. When I see a deer, I think back to the original inhabitants, who were in the same place and the fact that we continue to cluster and gather in the same places.
I love running outdoors, and I am so lucky to be surrounded by nature and feel the constant connections to our past and see how it points us to our future.
José Martínez joined the TLC board in October of 2018.