Cindy moved to San Marcos almost 30 years ago, after having caught a glimpse of the beautiful, crystal-clear San Marcos River. She worked across the state and along the coast as a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologist in the fisheries management and water quality arenas. In the meantime, she raised two smart and kind kids. Recently Cindy trained to become a Hays County Master Naturalist, which is a fantastic organization and lots of fun. Now she gets volunteer credit for doing things she was already enjoying, like trail work with SMGA. She dives in Spring Lake with Aquacorps, the volunteer diving program out of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. She sings alto at First Baptist Church and with the San Marcos Community Chorus, and walks all around town and in the Natural Areas.
Why do you value the natural areas?
I value the natural areas because I live in town and appreciate that there is a place I can go explore besides my own backyard. Beyond personally enjoying a place to hike, I like just knowing that these lands stay natural to provide wildlife habitat, to enhance the recharge of water to the aquifer, and to improve the water quality flowing into the San Marcos River.
Who or what most influenced your view of the natural world?
As children, my sister and I would announce that we were “going exploring” on my grandparents’ West Texas ranch. My grandmother would warn us to watch out for rattlesnakes, and off we went. One turning point for me was taking a plant taxonomy class in college, when overnight I went from seeing “trees” to seeing sycamores, oaks, and elms instead.
What is your favorite trail? What do you like about it?
This has to be the toughest question so far. I like Grey Fox in Spring Lake Natural Area because that was the first new trail I got to help build. I like Malacoda in upper Purgatory Natural Area because it’s down below the overlook and feels far away from everything.
What do you most enjoy doing when you visit the Greenbelt?
I hike with the Meetup group San Marcos Take a Hike on weekends, which is a great group of friends. I enjoy working on trails Thursday mornings with the SMGA Trail Crew, which is good exercise, but also fun and social.
What recommendations would you give new users of the trail?
Bring drinking water and stay on the trail. If you are so inclined, pick up any trash and pack it out, so the next person can enjoy a cleaner trail.