San Marcos River
|San Marcos River|
|Origin||Aquarena Springs, Hays County, Texas, U.S.A|
|Mouth||Guadalupe River, Gonzales County, Texas, U.S.A|
|Length||75 mi (121 km)|
|Source elevation||575 ft (175 m)|
|Avg. discharge||236 ft³/s (7 m³/s)|
|Basin area||522 mi² (1352 km²)|
The San Marcos River rises from the San Marcos Springs, the location of Aquarena Springs, in San Marcos, Texas. The springs are home to several threatened or endangered species, including the Texas Blind Salamander, Fountain Darter, and Texas Wild Rice. The river is a popular recreational area, and is frequented for tubing, canoeing, swimming, and fishing.
The river begins at San Marcos Springs, rising from the Edwards Aquifer into Spring Lake. Access to much of the headwaters is restricted because of the delicate ecosystem and numerous rare species. The upper river flows through Texas State University and San Marcos, and is a popular recreational area. It is joined by the Blanco River after four miles, passes through Luling and Palmetto State Park. Near Gonzales it flows into the Guadalupe River after a total of 75 miles (121 km). This course is the first section of the Texas Water Safari.
The history and naming of the river is somewhat unclear. It may have been discovered by Alonso de León's expedition in 1689, but some scholars believe they instead had found the Colorado or Navidad rivers. The convention came to call the first sizeable river beyond the Guadalupe. However, at the time, the Comal River was often called the Guadalupe, and part of the Guadalupe often called San Ybón. In 1808, the Spanish established San Marcos de Neve, just south of present-day San Marcos. They had friendly relations with the Tonkawa Indians, but the hostile Comanche tribe forced them to leave in 1812. In 1998, the river was affected by severe flooding.
The San Marcos River Bridge near Gonzales was featured in Secondhand Lions.