What are the primary challenges of Hill Country living? First and foremost, it’s the simple tasks like grocery shopping, commuting to work, and hiring a plumber. While all of these activities may seem uncomplicated, the further one moves away from civilization, the more complex they become.
In the Texas Hill Country, the time and distances involved with every undertaking are great. Where a “normal” trip to the suburban grocery store is usually completed within a couple of hours, it’s a full day’s affair if you live in the hills east of Austin. Also, high fuel costs must be considered and consolidating separate trips into one excursion accepted as the rule. If your vehicle—loaded to the hilt with sundries—doesn’t resemble a Conestoga wagon of yesteryear, you missed the mark.
The second most challenging activity for country folks is the hiring of outside help. Within the first few months of their residency, outlanders discover just how difficult it is to secure a professional in the building trades. Of course, there are a few good contractors that don’t mind working out in the sticks. Unfortunately, many roll their eyes at the idea of driving “all the way out” to the country.
Commuting Times Can be Challenging
Commuting to work from Hill Country Ranches is also a challenge for those living in the hinterlands. Unless you are fortunate enough to work at home, the long commute exists as the biggest challenge of Hill Country Living. According to American Community Survey (ACS) data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans spend more than 100 hours commuting to work each year. Think about it: This exceeds the two weeks of vacation time normally taken by workers per annum. For those living in Hill Country, the trek is much more.
If your place of employment happens to be San Marcos, Texas, you’re lucky. The average round trip is about 90 minutes—that is—if you put the pedal-to-the-metal and disregard traffic laws. Unless you own your own Bell JetRanger Helicopter, Austin is more than one hour away by car, one way, if you’re fortunate enough to make the trip before the morning rush hour.
If you miss that window, the freeways become saturated with cars. Next, the high-speed technology corridor Northwest of town turns into a crawl. But, San Antonio isn’t much better: a pre-dawn commute through the central business district yields a reward of nothing more than time parked on the highway.
Our List of Country Living Resources
The question of the hour becomes “How can I get this done in the most efficient manner possible?” We have little time to waste, and like the Japanese Sumi-e master who uses a minimal amount of brush strokes to complete his work, our goal is to facilitate our tasks with the same precision.
With that in mind, we’d like to present our Resources for Texas Hill Country Living. Our aim is to provide you with articles and links that will keep you informed and guide you to the right person, place, or thing—the first time out. Our mission is to glean the information from people who have already figured it out. Through a combination of personal experiences, hands-on research, and tips from our residents, we hope to assemble all the information that you need within the pages of this site.
We invite your input and your contributions. Please, send us an email using the contact form on this site and tell us about your experiences. Maybe, we can ease the challenges of Hill Country living together…