Apartment rent keeps going up in Texas, and in San Antonio the increase is seven percent more than last year, making it more difficult to afford living in the city. That’s according to a new national rent report from online rental marketplace Zumper.
Despite rent increases showing small improvements month-over-month, overall prices are still on the high side from the previous year. For example, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in San Antonio is $1,430 now, in March of 2023, which is a 1.4 percent decrease from the previous month, but a 4.4 percent increase from 2022. The average rent for a one-bedroom is $1,160, which is a mere .90 percent increase month-over-month, but a whopping 7.4 percent increase from last year.
The report looked at rental data from more than one million active listings in the top 100 cities in the United States to determine the rankings. Zumper ranked San Antonio the No. 66 most expensive rental market across the nation in February of 2023, up three places from the last report.
The report attributes these recent rental increase trends to the nation's rising inflation rate and unpredictable economy. Though unemployment is low (less than 3.4 percent), potential homebuyers are being sidelined with increasing interest rates. This is causing more competition among renters all over the country.
“Many markets continue to either normalize or correct following the steep increases in rent seen in 2021 [and 2022] in the zero interest rate [and] QE environment we went through,” said Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades in the report. “With interest rates expected to rise further in 2023, we anticipate continued deceleration in rent rises as new household formation freezes or is at least postponed.”
Much higher up the list from San Antonio is its Central Texas neighbor Austin, coming in as the No. 25 most expensive rental market, which is a two-place increase from a previous report. Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment stayed relatively flat over the last month, at $1,670, yet is still 7.7 percent higher than it was last year. Two-bedroom apartments saw a higher year-over-year increase at 8.4 percent, with the average rent price at $2,070.
Several cities in the DFW metro area also made the list, as well as Houston (No. 51) and El Paso (No. 95). Most notably, Irving (No. 34) is experiencing a nearly 15 percent year-over-year rent increase for both one- and two-bedroom apartments.
The nine total Texas cities that made the list include:
No. 25 – Austin
No. 34 – Irving
No. 36 – Dallas
No. 40 – Plano
No. 51 – Houston
No. 55 – Fort Worth
No. 66 – San Antonio
No. 67 – Arlington
No. 95 – El Paso
The full data from Zumper’s National Rent Report can be found at zumper.com.
Located in a two-hour triangle between Austin and San Antonio is Kerrville, the official capital of the Texas Hill Country. Founded in 1889 with a spirit of innovation, the city still holds fast to its entrepreneurial roots as the home of James Avery Artisan Jewelry and a plethora of galleries, museums, and shops.
It's also an outdoor lover's dream. Kerrville is situated along the banks of the Guadalupe River, which serves as the map for the multi-use Kerrville River Trail and provides opportunities for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Here are more activities to discover during your time in Kerrville:
Art for all
The world-famous brand James Avery Artisan Jewelry calls Kerrville home, and visitors can learn about the history of the company in a museum-like setting while also shopping for their very own piece of jewelry to take home.
The company's presence is felt throughout the city, most notably with the popular Mother's Love James Avery memorial sculpture right outside the Kerr Arts & Cultural Center. This is one of the 28 public art pieces dotted throughout downtown — keep an eye out for “Lupe” the Guadalupe Bass in Louise Hays Park and the “Welcome To Kerrville” mural.
Find peace with the The Coming King Sculpture Prayer Garden, featuring eight bronze sculptures inspired by Christian scriptures, including a seven-story-tall steel cross, that are surrounded by a prayer rock garden.
Visit the campus of the Hill Country Arts Foundation in nearby Ingram and come face to face with Stonehenge II, a nearly life-size replica of the famous stones in England that also include two 13-foot-tall Easter Island head copies.
Head into the 20,000-square-foot Rivers Edge Gallery to view an expansive variety of contemporary and traditional artwork, or explore life during the frontier days at The Museum of Western Art. The museum also offers workshops on such skills as leather working and candle making.
The Schreiner Mansion Historic Site, built by former Texas Ranger Charles Schreiner, offers a guided tour of the mansion with history on the family that ran a major department store in Kerrville (now Schreiner Goods) and established the Schreiner Institute, now known as Schreiner University.
Catch live music and other events at the iconic Arcadia Live Theater, see a play in the intimate black box VK Garage Theater, or pay tribute to Point Theatre, the oldest-running outdoor theater in Texas. The Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts also hosts Symphony of the Hills, nationally acclaimed musicians, and theater performances by Playhouse 2000.
Events for everyone
There's something for every season here, with the spring bringing the Kerrville Easter Festival (held this year on April 8, 2023) and the Kerrville Easter Bike Ride (April 7-9, 2023).
The Texas Masters of Fine Art Show (May 26-28, 2023) overlaps with the famous Kerrville Folk Festival (May 25-June 11, 2023), and the height of summer brings Kerrville’s Fourth on the River, scheduled for July 4.
Fall sees the Kerrville Triathlon Festival and the Texas State Arts & Crafts Fair on the same weekend — September 23-24, 2023 — with the Kerrville RiverFest and Kerrville Chalk Festival following October 14 and 15, 2023.
The Texas Furniture Makers Show is scheduled for November 2-December 15, 2023, and lots of folks turn out for the Kerrville Renaissance Festival that runs weekends in late January and early February.
Kerrville’s mild weather allows for outdoor activities year-round. Hop aboard the Hill Country River Rat, a unique outdoor river activity where visitors can peddle to provide horsepower on a 25-foot-long, custom-made, 12-passenger pontoon boat.
Aside from water fun on the Guadalupe River, biking is also a popular outdoor activity. Pedal leisurely on the 10-foot-wide Kerrville River Trail, the city’s unofficial crown jewel, that parallels the Guadalupe for six miles. You can also walk your dog, go for a run, or relax on a bench and spot birds in the shade of Kerrville’s signature cypress trees.
There are multiple trail segments and trailheads that can be accessed along the Kerrville River Trail, notably Kerrville-Schriener Park and Louise Hays Park.
At 517 acres, Kerrville-Schriener is the largest municipal park in Kerrville, offering plenty of green space with a playground, butterfly garden, sand volleyball, basketball, 10-plus miles of hike and bike trails, river access, and more.
The popular Louise Hays Park features an interactive fountain, a playground, pavilions, trail heads, numerous picnic areas, and a stage that hosts music and dance performances. Louise Hays Park is also home to a variety of special events, such as Get Outdoors Day, Kerrville’s Fourth on the River, and the Kerrville Triathlon Festival.
To learn about the different critters and creatures that call Kerrville home, the Riverside Nature Center is the perfect place to explore. Wander through the gardens, educational exhibits, a gift shop, and much more.
Additional outdoor activities include golfing at Kerrvilles’ three golf courses — Scott Schreiner Golf Course, Comanche Trace, and The Riverhill Country Club — playing tennis at the HEB Tennis Center, and hunting at Y.O. Ranch or Shonto Ranch.
Time to eat
Enjoy dining with a view of the Hill Country and the Guadalupe River while exploring the craft food and beverage scene when you dine in Kerrville. From upscale dining experiences and wine tasting opportunities to delicious taco and coffee spots on the go, there's no shortage of choices.
For a meal with a view, check out 1011 Bistro, Cafe at the Ridge, Thai Ocha, Pinnacle Grill, and Billy Gene’s. Texas tacos are obviously a must, so head to El Sol De Mexico, Mary’s Tacos, Taqueria Jalisco, El Jimador Restaurant & Bar, and Rita’s Famous Tacos.
Make sure to sample the local libations during your stay — Kerrville is located in the Hill Country after all. Turtle Creek Olives & Vines, Kerrville Hills Winery, and Wine-O-Bout It satisfy vino connoisseurs, while craft brew enthusiasts will cheers to options like Pint & Plow Brewing Co., Basement Brewers of Texas, and Trailhead Beer Garden.
Other popular eateries include Bumdoodlers Lunch Company, Francisco’s Restaurant, Grape Juice, and Rails: A Cafe at The Depot.
Shop to it
Visitors flock to downtown Kerrville to explore upscale shops as well as unique boutiques and antique stores. Schreiner Goods stocks a curated selection of women’s clothing, accessories, and stylish home goods, while Rustic Elegance is a home furnishing aficionado's dream store.
Stop by Creations, a destination for fabric artists; shop for crystals and other mystical items at The Fairy Moon Emporium; or go antique hunting at Sunrise Antique Mall. Of course, shopping for a piece of James Avery jewelry is a given while in Kerrville!
Rest your head
The River Trail Cottages are a fun way to depart from the normal hotel experience, with a unique variety of retro overnight options like Motor Court Cottages, newly built midcentury-themed Depot Alley or River View cottages, and vintage RVs filled with modern amenities.
At the River House, all guest rooms offer direct access to the river and the Kerrville River Trail that leads straight through downtown. The facilities also come with grills, bicycles, river floats, fishing poles, kayaks, and backyard games.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Guadalupe River Camp Resort is the perfect place for families traveling with little ones. Enjoy putt-putt, jumbo-sized jumping pillows, laser tag, playgrounds, and a water slide park.
For those looking for a resort feel, a stay at Inn of the Hills Hotel & Conference Center is an excellent choice. The hotel features a courtyard, swimming pools, 21,000-square-foot conference center, delicious dining at the full-service restaurant, and the Inn Pub, which features entertainment on the weekends and is the only dance hall in Kerrville.
Since 1985, the World Affairs Council has honored an individual who has significantly contributed to San Antonio's growth as an international city. Last week, the Council celebrated a giant in the city's social justice community, Waheeda Thawerbhoy Kara, as International Citizen of the Year.
Kara's commitment to community service sprung out of hardship. She lost her father during childhood as her family fled genocide in her native Bangladesh. But the challenges of being a young refugee only ignited a lifelong devotion to giving back. Guided by her Shia Ismaili Muslim faith, she has been a civic service force for over 35 years.
According to a release, Kara has been working with the City of San Antonio since 2008, when she co-developed the Muslim Cultural Heritage Society. Among her cultural contributions are spearheading the first city-sponsored Eid Festival and bringing the Aga Khan Foundation's Partnership Walk to San Antonio. More recently, she was selected to serve on the Mayor's Council on Police Community Relations.
Her involvement with nonprofits has spanned more than 35 years. Currently, she is the president of the National Inter-organizational Collaborative, an Interfaith Committee member at San Antonio Food Bank, and an Advisory Board member at UTHSC Mays Cancer Center. The work has led to widespread recognition, including being named a Woman of Substance by Dream Week and being honored by a state resolution.
"Waheeda Thawerbhoy Kara is the epitome of international citizenship," said Mayor Ron Nirenberg via release. "Her story is one of tireless work on behalf of our community and our world through an array of nonprofits..."
Kara was honored on March 15 at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. The award ceremony included a keynote speech from Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Doris Kearns Goodwin.
America’s seemingly unceasing obsession with murders and/or serial killers has mainly shown itself in recent years via true crime TV shows and podcasts. But sometimes a movie can be just as effective, and one long-ago series of killings is getting a fresh look in the new Hulu film, Boston Strangler.
Taking a page from the Spotlight/She Said book, the film approaches the story from the angle of the newspaper reporters who broke it in the first place. In the early 1960s, Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley) works as a lifestyle reporter at the Boston Record American but wants to move into crime reporting. When she notices a pattern in a recent spate of murders, McLaughlin convinces her boss, Jack Maclaine (Chris Cooper), to let her look deeper into possible connections.
When she finds out all the women had stockings tied in a bow around their necks, she publishes a story about the possible serial killer, opening up a can of worms that gets major pushback from the Boston police. Soon, she and fellow reporter Jean Cole (Carrie Coon) are consumed by the case, with the killer striking again multiple times, including in other cities.
Written and directed by Matt Ruskin, the film is stylish in both its execution and storytelling. Even though the name “Boston Strangler” might sound familiar to many people, the details of the case – especially the fact that two women were at the forefront of covering it – are not as widely known. The film drills down on just how frustrating the case was on all sides, leading the media and the police into a symbiotic search for answers.
Ruskin does an effective job of setting the scene, focusing on the inherent sexism of the day that women like Loretta and Jean faced without letting that aspect overpower the story. While perhaps not to the degree as in She Said, the film shows how ably – and sometimes not - the two women balance the demands of being both reporters and wives/mothers.
The film is also able to set the tone of fear that pervaded in the city at the time without being overly gratuitous. There are a few murder scenes, as well as the aftermath of murders, and Ruskin shows just enough to get the point across, never lingering on the more disturbing aspects. The casting of the various suspects helps the tone, especially David Dastmalchian as prime suspect Albert DeSalvo.
Knightley, whose recent films have been less high-profile than earlier in her career, puts in a great performance here. She demonstrates the strength someone like Loretta would need to overcome the obstacles put in her way. Coon is good, although because her character isn’t explored as much, she comes off as a little one-note. Also respectable in supporting roles are Cooper, Alessandro Nivola, and Rory Cochrane.
Boston Strangler is a solid drama that nods toward the fascination with serial killers with an approach that is bit more palatable. The work of journalists like Loretta McLaughlin in situations like the one depicted is invaluable, and this film deftly shows exactly why.