West Texas Wonders

West Texas Wonders is a new journalism initiative from Marfa Public Radio that invites you to take part in the stories we cover. It’s guided by you, our listeners, and your curiosity about our region – from the border to the Basin.

Here’s how it works: You submit a question about West Texas that you’d like us to investigate. We’ll run regular voting rounds so you can weigh in on what you most want answered. If your question is picked, a Marfa Public Radio reporter will work with you to find the answer. Finally, we present the answers on-air and online.

You can ask us anything about West Texas, silly or serious, big or small, from that weird street name in your neighborhood to where our tax dollars go.

You can ask questions you don’t otherwise hear in the news —

Do ranch brands and gate symbols in West Texas have secret meanings behind them?

I’ve heard it’s legal to drink beer on the street in Marfa. Is it?

Or you might ask —

Oil and gas companies generate a lot of money in the Permian Basin — how much of that wealth supports the rest of the state, and how much of it returns to the community?

Will it be up to individuals and private companies to raise money to repair the Balmorhea pool?

So, ask away: What have you always wondered about West Texas, the region or its people that you’d like us to investigate?

We’re going on a road trip! Read all about our schedule here and follow our adventures on social media:


Your Questions, Answered:

How Did West Texas Ranches Get SO BIG?

In Texas, 95 percent of the land is privately owned, much of it by ranchers. And if you drive out West, the swaths of private land holdings get even bigger. But how did these parcels of land get to be … Continue reading

In Rural West Texas, Shaky Internet Service Could Be Fixed With “Fiber Ring”

 In rural West Texas, it doesn’t take much for your internet connection to go down. A pounding rainstorm, heavy winds, construction workers accidentally cutting a crucial cable — all very real scenarios that can leave you without internet for hours. That’s why … Continue reading

Where the West Winds Blow: What Causes the West Texas Windy Season?

Marfa’s Adele Powers asked West Texas Wonders about a natural phenomenon that touches the lives of everyone and everything in the region, literally — wind. “Windy season is the bane of my existence,” Powers said, “and I think for a … Continue reading

How Do 4-Way Stops Really Work?

As we approach peak summer festival season, one Marfa resident is out to learn the real rules of the busiest intersection in town  — the 4-way stop on San Antonio and Highland. And they’re not as simple as you might … Continue reading

Tall City, Empty Buildings: What’s Up With The Abandoned Skyscrapers In Downtown Midland?

An anonymous listener asked Marfa Public Radio: What’s the deal with the abandoned skyscrapers in downtown Midland? “Most of these buildings downtown were built for the Texacos, the Mobils, all those major oil companies.” It’s a question that stirred a … Continue reading

As Midland ISD Struggles to Keep Teachers, One Parent Searches For Answers

This Summer, we asked you to start sending us your questions about our region — big or small, silly or serious. It’s all part of a new journalism project we’re calling West Texas Wonders. High school teacher Ella Lujan posed … Continue reading

The Marfa Lights — Underground Lightning, Wandering Ghosts, Or Something Else?

A few weeks ago, we asked you to send us questions that you have about our region for a new journalism project we’re calling West Texas Wonders. The first question we’re answering comes from listener David Missert in Oregon. It deals … Continue reading