Big Bend Ranch: Where solitude meets adventure

Spectacular scenery and unmatched adventure await visitors to Big Bend Ranch State Park. The 300,000-plus-acre park in Presidio and Brewster counties is the largest in Texas. The West Texas desert landscape’s geological features and recreational opportunities draw outdoors enthusiasts from around the country. One of the easiest ways to take-in the vastness of the state…

Exploring a personal connection at the National World War II Museum

On this Pearl Harbor Day, I’m surrounded by history at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. This world-class museum is sure to provide a moving experience, whether it’s a first-time visit or especially if you have the honor of accompanying a veteran. Located on a six-acre campus in downtown, the museum…

World’s largest airport chaplaincy provides peace in busy DFW Airport

At the start of the holiday travel season, countless East Texans will be among the passengers navigating crowds at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Despite the airport being one of the busiest places on Earth, people are finding their faith inside one of the five DFW Airport interfaith chapels. “You don’t ever know how travel is…

Oklahoma boasts ‘tallest hill’ in the world

Poteau, Oklahoma claims to be home to the tallest hill in the world. Located on the far eastern side of the state, the elevation of Cavanal Hill’s summit is 1,999 feet. According to the local chamber of commerce, geographical features 2,000 feet or higher are typically classified as mountains. Whatever you want to call it,…

Art installation sends ‘wishes’ fluttering over post-Wall Berlin

Freely moving in the wind, independent, yet seemingly in harmony, 30-thousand ribbons dance in front of the Brandenburg Gate, Germany’s most visible symbol of unity. The vision of American artist Patrick Shearn and his studio Poetic Kinetics, a massive public art display drapes the setting for one of Germany’s biggest celebrations in years — the…

How to make the most out of a journalism fellowship

For journalists, a fellowship can provide unmatched mid-career professional development and opportunities for meaningful personal growth. Having completed fellowships with the RIAS Berlin Commission and the East-West Center, I was recently invited to share my own experiences in a panel discussion at RTDNA/SPJ’s annual ‘Excellence in Journalism’ conference. These international reporting experiences required a significant…

Walk on the wild side at Tyler’s Caldwell Zoo

Caldwell Zoo in Tyler, Texas recently welcomed two new African elephants to its family of more than 3,400 animals from around the world. The 85-acre park first opened to visitors in 1953 and has grown considerably in the decades since. Open seven days a week, the zoo is an ideal destination for families, school groups,…

Ducks, geese make winter home in Southwest Louisiana’s marshland

Hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese spend their winters in the pristine marshes and prairies of Southwest Louisiana. Located at the confluence of two of the four major North American flyways, the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road is a 180-mile journey through one of America’s ‘Last Great Wildernesses,’ according to the Lake Charles Convention…