Get to know San Marcos, TX

The Central Texas city of San Marcos lies 30 miles southwest of Austin.  The Villa de San Marcos de Neve settlement was started in 1808 by a small group of Mexican families who settled on the river.  The site was plagued by floods and raids for Native Americans and was abandoned in 1812.  The first Anglo settlers arrived in 1846 near the San Marcos Spring.  After San Marcos was named the county seat of Hays County in 1848, the town began to spring up.  A town center was established in 1851 and the community became a center for local agricultural products.  In 1881, the International-Great Northern Railroad arrived, and cattle and cotton helped grow the town as a commercial and transportation hub.  Texas State University was founded as Southwest Texas State Normal School in 1899.  In the 1940s, San Marcos Army Air Force Base was established to train navigators for the war.  It was renamed Gary Air Force Base in 1953 to honor the first resident of San Marcos to die in World War II, Lieutenant Arthur Edward Gary.  The tourist industry became an important part of the city’s economy in the 1960s with the openings of the Aquarena Springs and Wonder World attractions.  The explosion of the Austin area helped to further grow San Marcos in the 20th century.  San Marcos is home to Texas State University and is known for its high quality of life and its access to many outdoor amenities, with the San Marcos River and other lakes dotting the landscape.  A notable attraction is the Cheatham Street Warehouse, a venue that helped start the careers of George Strait and Randy Rogers, among other country artists.  Industry drives the economy of the city, with its central location and strong infrastructure.  The city also has undertaken business incentives to support small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Quick Facts

Population: 51,289

Median Household Income: $27,261

Median Property Value: $134,800

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