89° San Marcos
The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Main Point: City lacks preparation for film studio


Hill Country Studios, what will be Texas’s largest film and television production hub, is set to begin construction by December. While many positives will come with the studio, the negative aspects place a shadow over them, and officials should hold off on construction until the problems are addressed. 

The hill country is arguably the most incredible aspect of Texas as it is home to caves, natural caverns and underground lakes. Because of the beautiful environment, Central Texas hosts some of the fastest-growing cities in the country. This quick development is allowing for the authenticity and beauty of the hill country to be stripped away and the biggest example of this problem is Hill Country Studios.

One of the main drawbacks of the studio for San Marcos residents is the fact that part of the development will be built over a section of the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. As stated in a University Star article, building over the recharge zone lessens the space available for rainwater to flow into which may cause flooding.

The aquifer provides drinking water to over one million people, and advocates for the aquifer and river worry that Hill Country Studios might contribute to an already significant problem of harmful pollution.

According to KXAN, the environment is on the minds of those at the studio. Currently, there are plans to limit the amount of land developed and recycle most of the materials used in productions. However, how can we be sure that officials will follow through on the promises they’re making?

Hill Country Studios must hold off on construction until the drought restrictions in San Marcos and other surrounding areas are lifted. The drought has already had a detrimental impact on Edwards Aquifer, causing it to fall below 630 feet which triggered stage 4 restrictions. The integrity of the aquifer should not be compromised by construction. 

On top of the environmental concerns, there is also a general unease with the topic of infrastructure in San Marcos. San Marcos, recently ranked as the fourth fastest-growing college town in Texas, welcomed 7,892 freshmen this year. Texas State (TXST) and San Marcos already struggle to accommodate the 38,873 total students. If TXST continues the trend of record-breaking freshmen classes, the problem will only worsen.

The film studio, which will be built near the La Cima neighborhood, is 4.6 miles away from the LBJ Student Center. With 12 soundstages and a plethora of other buildings, studio officials expect to employ over 2,000 people. While this may be convenient for Texas State students who hope to work in the film industry in the future, there is a cause for concern about where those who come to San Marcos specifically for the studio will live. 

The city of San Marcos simply does not have the means to accommodate more people. The options for apartments are already slim, and students should have priority for housing near campus. Additionally, there is nowhere suitable for new homes to be built.

Many students and residents of San Marcos fear that the studios will cause an increase in the price of housing and rent throughout the city. According to an article from the San Antonio Express-News, the median home sale price jumped 160% over the past decade. The article also states that Hays County has the highest average rent in Texas. If no changes are made, students may no longer be able to afford to live in their college town.

With a large film studio comes the actors that will be working on the projects. Those who live in cities such as Los Angeles and Hollywood are not strangers to seeing celebrities walking around, but it’s a rarity in the Texas hill country.

Depending on the social status of the projects in development at Hill Country Studios, there is a possibility that people will flock to San Marcos for a chance to catch a glimpse of their favorite celebrities. This will severely alter and take away the small-town charm that all residents know and love.

There are many people who love San Marcos the way it is: a tight-knit community full of endless quirks and feelings of home. All of this could change once the studio is built.

Though the production of the Hill Country Studios is inevitable, officials need to take the time to address the issues that have been brought to light before breaking ground.

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