Trinity University Press

On the Border

An Environmental History of San Antonio

Char Miller (editor)

A collection of writing about the complex environmental history of San Antonio

This collection of eleven essays examines the environmental history of San Antonio, drawing on an interdisciplinary array of authors and insights to highlight the evolving relationship between the city’s residents and the South Texas landscape and showing how the human community and the natural environment have shaped each other. The border of the title refers to San Antonio’s location at the edge of the Great Plains on the north and the coastal plain on the South, at the intersection of the eastern half of the country with the western half.

On the Border traces San Antonio’s environmental history over the last 300 years, from Spanish exploration to present-day suburbanization. Many of the essays discuss issues that challenge contemporary San Antonio—urban sprawl, water rights, and unchecked economic development—and reveal their complex evolution. They also assess the city’s social ecology, concluding that San Antonio’s power brokers “did not conceive of the community as a community.”

Miller and his contributors point a way toward the future by understanding the past.


  • Benjamin Bradshaw
  • Derrall Cheatwood
  • Craig E. Colten
  • Jesús F. de la Teja
  • John M. Donahue
  • Lewis F. Fisher
  • John Hutton
  • David R. Johnson
  • Char Miller
  • James F. Petersen
  • Heywood Sanders
  • Jon Q. Sanders
  • Stephanie J. Shaw
  • Laura A. Wimberley


    “Scholars interested in regional, environmental, and urban history will appreciate the book. So will thoughtful residents of San Antonio, if they hope that their city will fare better in the twenty-first century than it did in the last one.”

    American Historical Review

    On the Border cover
    • Price: $19.95
    • Pages: 304
    • Size: 6 x 9
    • Published: May 2005
    • Status: Out of stock
    • ISBN: 9781595340146
    • Maps: 10


    History, Environment, Texas, Regional