Travis Bubenik

Latest Stories (18)

How much tax-funded tourist promotion money does a popular destination need?

Aug 18, 2022
In the tourist hot spot of the Texas Big Bend, some raise concerns about taxes used to promote even more tourism.
Some locals in the Big Bend area would like to see the hotel occupancy tax go toward housing assistance or building new roads. Above, the entrance to the Terlingua Ghost Town in the Big Bend region.
Hannah Gentiles

In Texas, conservationists push for stricter land protections at a popular national park

May 16, 2022
Visitor numbers have skyrocketed at Big Bend, prompting calls for a wilderness designation to better protect the park’s pristine landscape.
As tourism in the area grows, conservationists are worried about keeping Big Bend National Park protected.
John Moore/Getty Images

In rural West Texas, there's a scramble to keep ambulances running

Feb 4, 2022
After the loss of a local provider, officials are working to make sure paramedics will still show up when people call 911.
Greg Henington, a local EMS and fire chief in rural Brewster County, is leading a task force focused on finding a new ambulance provider for part of the county.
Travis Bubenik

In West Texas, astronomers worry about growing oilfield light pollution

Jul 9, 2021
A major Texas observatory is trying to convince oil and gas companies to minimize light pollution from drilling rigs and gas plants.
A view of McDonald Observatory in West Texas. Astronomers have grown concerned about light pollution from oilfield activity in the region, and the observatory has worked to educate companies on alternative “dark sky-friendly” lighting methods.
Damond Benningfield/McDonald Observatory

Research says collaboration is needed to address Houston's "food deserts"

May 1, 2019
In some cases, groups trying to solve the problem are competing for funding.
A small organic farm in the middle of Houston’s concrete sprawl. 
Travis Bubenik for Marketplace

Weddings are helping save historic Texas dance halls

Apr 26, 2019
Where touring musicians can't do it, weddings might.
La Bahia Turn Verein, a rural dance hall built in the early 1900s near Burton, Texas. 
Travis Bubenik for Marketplace

Toxic accidents database could improve emergency planning

Apr 2, 2019
Environmental groups say people living near industrial chemical facilities could soon get better information on what’s being spewed into the air around them when accidents happen.
Sulfur in coal is a big cause of air pollution.
Reid Frazier

One Texas non-profit's idea to help curb climate change

Apr 1, 2019
Landowners would pay to “store” carbon.
Texas Coastal Exchange says preserving coastal marshland could be key to battling climate change.
Travis Bubenik for Marketplace

Not plain sailing for Texas oil exports

Mar 8, 2019
In Texas, energy companies are scrambling to find a home for the record amount of oil they’re producing.
In Texas, energy companies are scrambling to find a home for the record amount of oil they’re producing.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

In West Texas, growing oil production comes with deadly highways

Mar 4, 2019
A combinations of dense traffic and time-pressed truckers has led to a spike in fatal crashes.
Trucking instructor Don Jefferies outside the training class he teaches at Houston Community College. 
Travis Bubenik for Marketplace