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Portraits of the Pandemic

There are people who lost their jobs, who miss their family, who worry about their kids. These are the stories of ordinary Texans dealing with extraordinary circumstances.

By Texas Observer Staff Illustrations by Lindsay Mound August 31, 2020—Nearly six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 600,000 Texans have been infect...Read More

An illustration of COVID molecules and a field of oil rigs. by

From Boom to Bloodbath

The Permian Basin’s shale revolution is over and renewable energy is surging. What does that mean for Texas’ future?

From Boom to Bloodbath The Permian Basin’s shale revolution is over and renewable energy is surging. What does that mean for Texas’ future? By Justin Miller...Read More

A stretch of border fencing at Laredo College. by

Back to the Wall

A border wall is headed for Laredo—unless opponents can run out the clock.

Back to the Wall A border wall is headed for Laredo—and the only thing likely to stop it is time. By Gus Bova July 20, 2020  It starts at sunrise. Two line...Read More

The road to Rachel Mellard’s ranch south of Marfa, where she had a home birth last spring. by

The Traveling Midwife

In far West Texas, some women have to travel hours to give birth, endangering themselves and their babies. Could midwives help fill in the gap?

The Traveling Midwife In far West Texas, some women have to travel hours to give birth, endangering themselves and their babies. Could midwives help fill in the...Read More

Marissa Navarro is one of 17 students from Edcouch-Elsa High School in the Rio Grande Valley who performed in a statewide mariachi festival this spring. by

The New Ensemble

Texas’ best high school mariachi bands take the stage.

The New Ensemble Mariachi music is on the rise in Texas high schools. The state festival in Edinburg draws the best of the best. By Robyn Ross June 10, 2020 For...Read More

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Locked Out

Visitation is a critical lifeline for incarcerated people, yet some families say Texas prison officials ban them from seeing loved ones over petty or unproven claims of misconduct.

Locked Out Visitation is a critical lifeline for incarcerated people, yet some families say Texas prison officials ban them from seeing loved ones over petty or...Read More

Dianne Gonsoulin Hastings, pictured outside her Austin home, spent decades looking for her sister Donna. by

The Disappeared

Genetic genealogy is helping to crack cold cases and identify victims left nameless for decades. The process is surprisingly effective—and controversial.

Genetic genealogy is helping to crack cold cases and identify victims left nameless for decades. The process is surprisingly effective—and controversial. By L...Read More

Lourdes Salinas en el punto elevado desde donde llamó para pedir ayuda y evacuar residentes en la inundación de Junio del 2018. by

Bajo el Agua

Las colonias, asentamientos irregulares en la frontera entre México y Texas, se ven sumamente afectadas por las tormentas, inclusive las más pequeñas. Para una asociación local sin fines de lucro, la solución está en generar vivienda accesible y sustentable, pero ¿cómo reconstruir en un área que se inunda constantemente?

Bajo el Agua Las colonias, asentamientos irregulares en la frontera entre México y Texas, se ven sumamente afectadas por las tormentas, inclusive las más pequ...Read More

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