Settled on the banks of the exquisite San Marcos River, findings show that Native Americans dwelt here as far back as 12,000 year ago, making San Marcos, Texas one of the oldest continually inhabited communities in the United States. Spanish explorers discovered it in the late 1600's and built their own settlement. Taken over by Texas in 1848, San Marcos soon became the seat of Hays County, one of the fastest growing counties in the state.
The warm bubbling San Marcos Springs and the river winding through, provide an exquisite natural backdrop for the community of San Marcos, TX. The Aquarena on the University campus offers glass-bottom boat rides on the crystal clear waters. Tubing and kayaking are a favorite pastime. City engineers have altered the system of dams to create the Rio Vista Falls, the most popular swimming area in Central Texas.
Known as the "Gateway to the Texas Hill Country", one of the most spectacular regions in TX, San Marcos is a delight to the outdoor enthusiast. Wonder World Park is an earthquake-formed cave, boasting tours through the various rooms, and a tram to the top of the Tejas Observation Tower. Also found here is a train ride through Mystery Mountain and a wildlife petting zoo, all showcasing the unique terrain of the Hill Country.
Sports fans appreciate the San Marcos Thunder Hill Raceway, featuring BMX Racing as well as other types of racing, year-round. Other attractions include the Calaboose African American History Museum, the Southwestern Writer's Collection and the Commemorative Air Force Exhibit. Slated to open in December 2006 is an LBJ Museum.
Census 2000 recorded the San Marcos, Texas population as almost 35,000. The 2005 estimate was more than 46,000, an increase of 32 percent. Thirty-two miles south of Austin, and 50 miles north of San Antonio, San Marcos residents have access to education and employment opportunities in both the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan area and the San Antonio Metro Area. These are two mammoth regions of ever-expanding growth in the state of the Texas. Almost 80% of San Marcos, TX residents graduate from high school, and 29% go on for higher educational degrees.
Widely known as a unique shopping locale, San Marcos offers the largest factory-outlet centers in Texas. San Marcos is a bargain-hunter's paradise; Prime Outlets and Tanger Outlets offer 70% off the retail price, with 240 brand-name stores. For a completely different experience, the San Marcos Historic Downtown District provides the finest in boutiques and specialty stores, all with a distinctive south-western ambience.San Marcos, Texas combines historic natural splendor and the youthful energy of a college town. This stable, small-town community, with urban proximity has developed an enviable lifestyle.