S.C. Gwynne has written articles for publications including Texas Monthly, Outside, Time, Harper’s, The New York Times, the Dallas Morning News, the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and others. Below are selections of feature stories written in the last fifteen years for Texas Monthly and Outside.
Texas Monthly Articles
The Next Frontier
The state’s (and maybe the world’s) most famous 825,000 acres would seem to be on a collision course with the twenty-first century, when giant spreads are routinely chopped up, there’s no money to be made in cattle, and the younger generation frequently bolts the family business. But the heirs of Captain Richard King are smarter than that. They have skillfully avoided ruin and preserved their history by embracing the future.
Conversations With a Grasshopper
Want to really get away from it all? Try spending a week completely alone in the most remote corner of Big Bend Ranch State park. I did, and other than facing rattlesnakes, confronting my most primitive fear, and speaking to the occasional long-legged insect, I’ve never felt more relaxed in my life.
Come Early. Be Loud. Cash In.
In the arms race to build the fanciest stadiums, hire the best coaches, and attract the top athletes, the University of Texas is unrivaled: its athletics program is the most profitable—and most successful—of any school in history. How did the Horns climb to the top? By inventing the rules that everyone else now plays by.
Mike Leach Is Thinking …
About pirates, quarterbacks, the spread offensive, how to beat UT again, whether punting is ever a good idea, the futility of huddles, and what else he might do to completely reinvent the game of college football.
He’s the wizard of the west wing, the most powerful political consultant ever, the maker of presidents, the destroyer of democrats. But how did Karl Rove get that way? Take a little luck, a lot of skill, a few dirty tricks, and a quarter-century of hardball Texas politics, and it all adds up to genius.
Houston orthopedic surgeon Eric Scheffey has been sued 78 times. He’s paid out some $13 million to settle malpractice cases. at least five of his patients have died, and hundreds more have been seriously injured. So why did it take 24 years for state regulators—and his colleagues in the medical community—to stop him?
Luv and War at 30,000 Feet
Since the late eighties, every major airline in the country has gone bankrupt—except one. How on earth did scrappy, lovable, cut-rate Southwest hunt down its competition and emerge from all of the turbulence as the nation’s largest domestic carrier? And can its celebrated culture survive its success?
Outside Magazine Articles
The Lost River of Divine Reincarnation
Each fall, in the heart of the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas, a little-known miracle transforms one of America’s most iconic—and tragically dammed—waterways. Revived by diamond-clear spring-fed creeks, the mighty Pecos River is reborn, creating a 60-mile stretch of wild and secret Class III whitewater. And did I mention we had it all to ourselves?
Paradise With an Asterisk
Bikini Atoll, a tiny ring of islands halfway between Hawaii and Australia, is a world-class diving destination and home to one of the Pacific’s last great fishing grounds. So where are all the tourists? Welcome to heaven on earth, where the vestiges of hell lie just below the surface.