Texas State University is full of unique people, places, and things. It is some of the “weird” aspects Austin is known for but also the small-town country vibe as well. Since it is smack dab in the middle of Austin and San Antonio, you get a great variety of people. Here are things only Texas State students will understand.
The Endless Stairs and Hills
Anyone who has walked on the Texas State campus knows the stairs far too well. No matter where you go you will have to climb at least 1 flight of stairs or hill. The Alkek Library staircase might be the most notorious set on the campus. Going up and down over and over again with a heavy bag full of books is more of a workout than a means of transportation.
Besides the staircases, the Texas State is known for the steep hills in and surrounding the campus. Students who lived up North LBJ know the struggle is real. Walking up that hill 2 to 3 times a day is like running on a treadmill with full incline for 20 mins. The worst part is once you walked down that monster of a hill they call North LBJ, you have to walk up another hill and 2 staircases just to make it to the student center. By the time you get to class, you are covered with sweat and wonder why no one wants to sick next to you. Maybe that was just me though.
The Sun God
The Sun God is everybody’s favorite unofficial mascot of Texas State. You can usually find him in Sewell Park or Rio Vista along the riverbank dancing in a manner that looks like he is worshiping the sun. If you are lucky enough you might be able to catch him dancing at one of the local pool parties around San Marcos.
Many people wonder why he dances along the river every day for hours and hours. If you ask him, he will tell you that it helps him feel one with the river and helps him channel the power of nature. He also says that it has helped him mentally and physically with many issues he has dealt with in his life. The Sun God is a very fascinating character and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Just don’t tell that to his rival, Frisbee Dan.
Frisbee Dan is another unofficial mascot that hangs out along the river at Sewell Park. He is very easy to spot since he is always wearing short shorts and a big sun hat. He is almost always throwing a frisbee with someone and taking in the Texas sunshine. Not everyone can toss the frisbee with Frisbee Dan, many people must earn the right to play with him. If he does not think you are good enough, he will just stop throwing it to you. Just make sure you have had plenty of practice when throwing the frisbee with Dan.
Frisbee Dan and The Sun God have somewhat of a rivalry going on (at least before I graduated in 2017). Back in the day The Sun God and Frisbee Dan were best friends. Later on down the road, Frisbee Dan and the Sun God got into an argument in Sewell park that escalated to the point where The Sun God pushed Frisbee Dan. This caused the Sun God to be banned from Sewell for a year. Apparently, things have calmed down between the two since the ban was lifted but you can tell the rivalry lives on.
Floating the River
Floating the River has become almost mandatory for Texas State students to do at least once during their college career. The river is a staple of San Marcos and one of the most popular hangouts for locals and students alike. No matter what time of day it is you will see people relaxing with a cooler floating down the river without a care in the world.
There are many different ways to float but the most basic is to go from Sewell Park to Rio Vista. It takes anywhere from 45 mins to an hour and a half depending on the current and what you are floating on. If you are looking for a longer float experience you can go to Don’s Fish Camp and begin from there. Once you finish floating you can just relax and enjoy the beautiful sights of Rio Vista Park or get a bite to eat at Herbert’s Taco Hut.
If you ask any 21 or older Texas State student what their favorite thing to do on the weekend is, a lot of them will say go to the square with friends. The Square is just that, a square, but it is made up of many bars, clubs, and music venues. The square is in the heart of Downtown and it is the hub of the nightlife scene in San Marcos.
The Square is walking distance from the campus so many students will walk down the hill (yet another hill!) and grab a drink and a bite to eat after they finish their classes for the day. The square has a wide variety of gastropubs on it as well so there really is something for everyone.
One of the most popular pizza places in San Marcos is Gumby’s Pizza. Once new students hear you can get a 20” pizza called the stoner pie with French fries, mozzarella sticks, bacon, and pepperoni on it, many cannot believe it. Well, I am here to tell you it is real, and you can only get it at Gumby’s.
Gumby’s is open until 4am so it makes it a very hot spot to meet with friends after a long night of drinking. They also deliver until 1 or 2 in the morning as well so you can never lose no matter where you are. It is walking distance from the campus and the square and even have an all you can eat buffet during the afternoons. On top of all this, Gumby’s pizza is reasonably priced, so college kids won’t be in debt just for eating a pizza.