Explore Texas by Historical ErasContemporary TexasPresentby Chet Garner

The only thing consistent in Texas is change.  From the very beginning, Texas has been an evolving place and idea; a trend that continues even to modern times.  The one exception to this rule is the ever-present “Texas Spirit” that continues to inspire a deep sense of pride and connection to this chunk of land we call the Lone Star State.

Today, a booming population, growing economy, and thriving urban cities define Modern Texas.  But just because Texas is evolving doesn’t mean it has forgotten about its past.  All over the state one can find rich traditions that connect Texas to its heritage and continue to define its culture; traditions such as ranching, small-town festivals, Tex-Mex, and even high school football.  These traditions have existed for decades and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Some may say that contemporary Texas is more aware of its past than ever before as historical tourism and preservation soar.  All over the state, folks are doing what they can to protect relics of the past and save the memories of those who paved the way before them.  There are immaculately preserved sites from the Texas Revolution such as the Alamo, Presidio la Bahia in Goliad, and the battlefield at San Jacinto.  There are also numerous places where Texans can connect to their culinary heritage such as in West, Texas to learn about Czech kolaches or in Lockhart, Texas to learn about the history of Bar-B-Q.   One should also note that Texas is the only state with three presidential libraries commemorating Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.  Yes, Texas is ripe with history and contemporary Texans are taking full advantage of it.

The biggest changes facing modern Texas are its shifting demographics.  The first has to do with the migration of people away from the rural farms and into urban cities.  What does it mean for Texas’s rustic “cowboy” image when the vast majority of Texans live in the big city?  Only time will tell.  The second major change has to do with Texas’s shifting ethnic make-up as Texas officially became a “majority-minority” state in 2004, and the Hispanic population continues to soar.

Every change brings new challenges, but Texans have always been adept at rising to meet them.  And as the Lone Star State marches on, many things will change, but the Texas Spirit will always remain constant.