San Marcos, Texas is an exciting, historic community in the heart of Central Texas midway between Austin and San Antonio. Founded in 1851 along the spring-fed San Marcos River, the city has actually attracted human beings for more than 12,000 years. Archaeologists have found artifacts of ancient native Americans who lived, fished and hunted along the banks. The city is on the Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio and is the seat of Hays County. Today, San Marcos is home to Texas State University, (alma mater of LBJ) the famous San Marcos outlet malls (largest in the Southwest) an historic downtown with many live music venues, Our residents come from diverse backgrounds and are dedicated to an exciting variety of civic, educational, cultural, sports, outdoor and religious activities.
The San Marcos River - One of the most loved family recreation areas, the San Marcos River, bubbles to life from hundreds of springs right in the City's center. Always a refreshing 72 degrees, the river is enjoyed year ‘round. Rio Vista Park, where the Lions Club Tube Rental shuttle will pick you up, is a relaxing area that includes pavilions, picnic tables, and children's play park. The river at this area has deep pools to swim and float that flow into the three chutes known as Rio Vista Falls. It's great fun to shoot the falls over and over again!
Texas State University - Authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1899, Southwest Texas State Normal School opened its doors in 1903. Over the years, the Legislature broadened the institution's scope and changed its name, in succession, to Southwest Texas State Normal College, Southwest Texas State Teachers College, Southwest Texas State College, Southwest Texas State University, and in 2003 to Texas State University. Each name reflects the university's growth from a small teacher preparation institution to a major, multipurpose university. Texas State's original mission was to prepare Texas public school teachers. It became renowned for carrying out this mission, but today it does far more.
The San Marcos Campus. Completed in 1903, the red-roofed, castle-like landmark called Old Main was Texas State's first building. As the university's student population has grown — from 303 in 1903 to 33,193 in 2020 — our San Marcos campus also has expanded. Today it consists of a 486-acre main campus and 5,038 additional acres in recreational, instructional, farm and ranch land. The Texas State campus is as diverse as the students who live and learn here. Our hilly grounds are home to 268 buildings. Some, like Old Main, are as old as the university itself. Others, such as the Performing Arts Center, opened in 2014 and more new buildings are scheduled for completion soon.At The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment on the Texas State campus, you can see the second-largest springs in Texas through the floor of a glass-bottom boat or glass-bottom kayak. These springs feed the San Marcos River and are home to eight endangered species, including the Texas blind salamander. Our campus is one of the best places in the world to study aquatic ecosystems and species.