Introduction to San Marcos, Texas

The Texas city of San Marcos, county seat of Hays County (named after famed Texas Ranger Jack Hays), is located between the cities of Austin (30 miles to the northeast) and San Antonio (50 miles to the southwest). Its principal highway is Interstate 35, which connects San Marcos to both cities. Founded in 1851 and incorporated in 1877, San Marcos is home to Texas State University and also to the San Marcos Baptist Academy.

Texas State University, known at the time as the Southwest Texas Normal School, is the alma mater of former President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Many landmarks both on campus and around town bear his name, including the LBJ student center and LBJ Drive, one of the city's main roads. A new LBJ Museum located on the town square is scheduled to open in December 2006.

Activities and Attractions in San Marcos

The 1960s saw the emergence of the Aquarena Springs Center and Wonder World as local attractions and since that time tourism has become a significant part of the city's economy. Located on the Balcones Fault, a fracture in the earth's crust which created the San Marcos springs and river, The Aquarena Springs Center is an environmental learning center featuring glass-bottom boat tours, environmental education tours, and a natural aquarium. Wonder World Park is a Texas Historical Site with several unique attractions including the nation's only earthquake-formed cave, a wildlife park, an observation tower, an anti-gravity house, and train rides through the waterfalls of Mystery Mountain.

Other local attractions include the San Marcos River, a family recreation area which features a tube ride and river chute. The Belvin Street Historic District in the southwest part of the city contains superb examples of 19th Century homes. San Marcos also hosts a number of annual events, including a chili cook-off (the Chilympiad).

Less than an hour's drive away are the cities of San Antonio and Austin, each of which offers a wealth of local attractions. Just a few of the more popular ones are listed here:

  • The Alamo (San Antonio)
  • San Antonio River Walk
  • HemisFair Park (San Antonio)
  • Brackenridge Park (home of the San Antonio Zoo)
  • Sea World San Antonio
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas (San Antonio)
  • The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum (Austin)
  • The Texas State Capitol (Austin)
  • The Texas Memorial Museum (Austin)
  • The Zilker Botanical Gardens (Austin)

These same two cities are replete with professional sports teams, including:

  • Baseball - (Minor League) San Antonio Missions (AA-affiliate of the Seattle Mariners)
  • Baseball - (Minor League) Round Rock Express (Austin's AAA-affiliate of the Houston Astros)
  • Basketball - (NBA) San Antonio Spurs
  • Basketball - (NBA Development League) Austin Toros
  • Basketball - (WNBA) San Antonio Silver Stars
  • Football - (Arena Football League) Austin Wranglers
  • Hockey - (American Hockey League) San Antonio Rampage
  • Hockey - (Central Hockey League) Austin Ice Bats

Austin is also the locale of the University of Texas, home of the Longhorns.


Total Population 51,289
Male Share of the Population 48.5%
Female Share of the Population 51.5%
Senior Citizens 6.7%
Employed Population 16+ 24,972
Age of the Population 23


% of people married 20.9%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 32.2%
Median Earnings25+ $25,497
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $17,500
Median Earnings With High School Degree $22,349


Median Family Income $44,995
% Above Poverty Level 62.9%
% Below Poverty Level 37.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 21 minutes
% Working from Home 3%
% Walking and Biking to Work 5.4%
% Using Public Transportation 2.5%


People Living Alone 32.8%
Median Gross Rent $919
Median House Value $134,800


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 51.5%
US/American 0%
English 7.1%
Irish 7.7%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2014, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

San Marcos Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 29 miles SW of Austin, Texas
County Hays
Metro Area Austin - San Marcos
Standard Zip Codes 78666
P.O. Box Zip Codes 78667
Phone Area Codes 512
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 29.883
Longitude -97.941

San Marcos Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 1.9 miles
Jan Temp 39 to 61 F
Apr Temp 57 to 80 F
Jul Temp 74 to 95 F
Oct Temp 59 to 82 F
Annual Precip 37.1 inches
Distance 15.6 miles
Jan Temp 38 to 60 F
Apr Temp 55 to 79 F
Jul Temp 71 to 95 F
Oct Temp 58 to 81 F
Annual Precip 36.4 inches
Station LULING
Distance 22.3 miles
Jan Temp 37 to 62 F
Apr Temp 55 to 80 F
Jul Temp 72 to 96 F
Oct Temp 56 to 83 F
Annual Precip 36.8 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2014, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

San Marcos Public Libraries

San Marcos Public Library
San Marcos, Texas
(512) 393-8200
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

San Marcos Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(512) 753-3690
Emergency Service: Yes

These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
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San Marcos High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

1301 STATE HWY 123
Serves 1,891 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.7

A Non-traditional School
Serves 79 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.8

501 S LBJ DR
A Non-traditional School
Serves 3 students.

San Marcos Colleges

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