The award-winning book, Explore Texas:  A Nature Travel Guide is perfect for nature lovers who love to travel and travelers who love nature!™

Those who love both will appreciate this easy-to-use guide to Texas’ top nature-friendly destinations, organized by the state's seven official travel regions.

Nearly 300 full-color photographs accompany this unique travel/field guide combo. Each entry has handy activity icons to tell you at a glance what's best to do there.

Each of the 96 destinations also includes its own “Learn” section so that you arrive knowing something about the special natural attractions that await.      

Also included are "Travel Details" with tips such as how to dress (when that matters), what to bring, the best time to go, which venues work best for kids, or without kids, relevant websites, and other important info.

If you're interested in birdwatching, wildlife viewing, or stargazing; flowers, geology, or water; nature centers, festivals, or photography, a destination in Texas awaits you!

Also includes a delightful forward written by Carter Smith, Executive Director of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Explore Texas:  A Nature Travel Guide received an "Excellence in Craft" award from the Texas Outdoor Writers' Association.

Publishers' Weekly's included it in its roundup of best travel books of 2016.

A Special Thanks:


About Mary & Jeff:

About the Book:

Retails for $28.00
Flexbound (paperback)

Also available

as an e-Book.

Published by

Texas A&M University Press

Mary O. Parker -- who goes by "Mary O" -- is a nature-lover and award-winning writer who lives in central-Texas. Her published work includes non-fiction books, essays, short stories & dozens of articles on a variety of topics. In 2015, she won the prestigious Gabriele Rico Challenge in Creative Nonfiction. Mary O was short-listed for the Barry Lopez Prize in Creative Nonfiction in December 2016. 

In April 2018, Mary O. was awarded a "Scribes' Scholarship" from the Bess Whitehead Scott  Scholarship Fund. The award is for Texas writers over 40. In addition, she was invited to participate in the highly competitive "Bread Loaf Environmental Writing Conference, 2018."

The Parkers wish to extend their deepest gratitude to:

David & Myrna Langford who graciously selected Explore Texas:  A Nature Travel Guide for their series,  "Myrna & David K. Langford Working Lands Books"

Nancy and Leroy "Shafe" Shafer, who generously supported the publication of this book in recognition of the spirit of conservation, volunteerism, and great land stewardship throughout the great state of Texas. 

Carter P. Smith, Executive Director of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, who wrote the book's wonderful forward.

The folks at Texas A&M University Press for their hard work and detailed efforts that went into the creation of Explore Texas: A Nature Travel Guide

Award-winning photographer, Jeff Parker, is equal parts photographer, adventurer, nature-lover, and conservationist.  With his wife, Mary O., he owns Explore in Focus™, which offers photo tours and workshops for the naturally curious.

Jeff's images have appeared in many publications including: Audubon, Outdoor PhotographerNANPA's Expressions, American Profile, American Airlines' Celebrated Living-CL, Texas Journey, Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, Texas Wildlife Magazine, Cenizo, and more. He captured winnings in Images for Conservation's 2010 Pro-Tour and also earned awards in three events sponsored by the Coastal-Bend's Wildlife in Focus. In 2016, three of his images were BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year finalists.