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Texas Hill Country - sort of update p. 15

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We lived near Houston  for several years some time ago.  I grew to love it and was devastated when we left.  DH has recently shown signs of willingness to return to Texas when he retires which could be within the next couple of years.  The catch is, I would like to go back to the Houston area and he's more interested in the Hill Country.  We visited Austin and the surrounding areas several times and thought it was lovely but we don't know very much about living there.   
I've started doing some research but would really appreciate the thoughts of some ehellions who may live in the area or have visited and  know more about this than I do, just to give me some ideas. 

What can you tell me about the Hill Country?  (We would like to be within 60-90 minutes of Austin.)  Are there any particular towns you like? Any emerging problems, especially relating to growth? 

Finally, if you had your choice of living in Houston or Austin which would you choose? 

I am from Texas and lived in Houston for a few years. (Katy to be exact)  I'd choose Austin instead of Houston.  As a matter of fact, we plan to head back to Tx in a couple of years and Austin is our first choice. 

I grew up in Austin. My mom, stepdad, bro and SIL live in San Antonio now and my sister and BIL live in Killeen. Dh and I lived in Killeen till the army moved us to the east coast. I haven't lived in TX for about 9 years, but we plan on going back when dh retires. I don't know if I would live in Austin again. It's changed so much since I left, but when I did live there, I loved it. I would probably choose San Antonio or New Braunfels now, but I think my first love will always be Austin. I was heartbroken when we left TX.

DH and I are originally from New Orleans and moved to Austin 27 years ago.  We live in northwest Austin, right about at the beginnings of Hill Country.  When we first planned to move here, everyone told us how wonderful Austin was -- and we quickly came to agree with them.  The people here are friendly and welcoming.  Austin has good access to plays, concerts, symphony, beautiful parks and lakes, fun festivals, excellent local music.  There are pretty little towns around us (such as Fredericksburg and Salado) with interesting shopping.  Gulf Coast beaches are a short trip away.  Cost of living is pretty good here too.

I'd choose Austin over Houston, but then I've never lived in Houston (though we drive through on our trips back to New Orleans).  Austin probably has more of a "small town" feel to it, even though we have around 800,000 population.  Houston is very flat, and we love the hills here -- quite a novelty for us, as New Orleans is also very flat.

ETA:  Being close to Schlitterbahn, all by itself, gives Austin the advantage!

I think either depends on desired lifestyle. I live in Houston and have no desire to live in Austin. But when we retire we are probably going to head to an area between the two. La Grange is a fun small town. Closer to Austin, I really like San Marcos. If want north of Austin, I like Georgetown.

(To me, Austin has all the headaches of a large city, without the advantages of being a major city.)


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