'Underdevelopment' near a true Texas treasure

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We managed to find a parking space in the shade, which was a good thing, seeing as how the afternoon temperatures surpassed the century mark. From our car, we walked across a field, dotted with cement landings, the remnants of a former RV park.

I looked around as if something else was missing, but didn’t yet have my bearings. I had spent a week here during two consecutive summers as a child. Something was missing.

But the object of our search still was there, though, and surprisingly, was open for swimming. Jacob’s Well is a spring-fed system of connecting caves, up to 200 feet deep, that feeds Cypress Creek. It has drawn people seeking fresh water and swimmers during hot summers for more than 100 years. I wanted to take my wife and sons there so they could enjoy a nice spot as I had as an 11-year-old.

The spring for Jacob’s Well has actually stopped flowing briefly within the past decade. Andy Sansom, former executive director of Texas Parks & Wildlife, and current director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, said the halting of the spring flow was “a canary in a coal mine” for water in light of the drought and the over-development of parts of the Hill Country. (Sansom also is a sometimes Stonewall resident.)

For more on this story, read this week’s print and online editions of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. If you are a print subscriber, your full online subscription is free. All you need to do is call 830-997-2155 to get a password. If you are not a subscriber, call 997-2155 or click on the ‘Subscribe’ button on the left side of the home page and sign up today!

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