A voyage down the Houston Ship Channel

Jul 5, 2024
While you may be hard pressed to find the Houston Ship Channel on anybody’s bucket list, this 110-year-old dredging work is critical to U.S. oil and gas exports and has a free guided boat tour that’s been around since 1958.
Captain Greg Penton steers the Sam Houston tour boat through the Houston Ship Channel during a summer tour.
Elizabeth Trovall/Marketplace

Bad weather, bad news for homeowners seeking insurance in Texas

May 21, 2024
More severe weather events means higher rates and more Texans forced into state insurance plans.
Over the last year, Anna Stafford with the Texas FAIR Plan Association has seen a nearly 32% increase in people turning to last-resort insurance policies. Above, storm damage in Houston on May 17.
Logan Riely/Getty Images

Amtrak wants to build a bullet train in Texas. Could it kickstart a rail revolution?

May 10, 2024
The project would cut the Dallas-to-Houston trip to 90 minutes. It’s one of a few high-speed rail projects that’s been getting attention lately.
Japan Central’s N700 high-speed train, above, would be the same train used for the Texas Central railway between Houston and Dallas.
Courtesy Texas Central

Salvadoran janitors fight for better wages, supporting families here and abroad

Apr 22, 2024
Immigrants from El Salvador clustered in major cities often work demanding, low-paying jobs that are hard to fill — like janitors.
Nuria Gomez de Gonzalez from El Salvador marches in downtown Houston for better wages and hours for local janitors like her.
Elizabeth Trovall/Marketplace

In the Houston suburbs, a new-home market sizzles 

Mar 26, 2024
Builder incentives like interest-rate buy-downs and the relative affordability of the area are big draws for prospective buyers.
Houston-area real estate agent Lauren Flathouse said some builders offer incentives like lowered interest rates or free appliances to entice homebuyers.
Elizabeth Trovall/Marketplace

Amid a national housing shortage, Texas is an exception

Feb 7, 2024
"This market is just really wacky right now," says Houston-based broker LaTisha Grant.
The number of homes for sale in Texas has more than doubled from its low during the pandemic.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Houston has bucked the trend in homelessness. Can it afford to keep it up?

Jan 8, 2024
The city has been lauded for getting people into homes. But higher housing costs and expiring funding may put programs in jeopardy.
Houston's homelessness response network helped Derrick Escobedo find permanent housing — his first home ever.
Elizabeth Trovall/Marketplace

For public good, not for profit.

Retirement doesn't appeal to a notary in Texas who's still enjoying work

Oct 31, 2023
"This particular job, one of the reasons I took it is because I knew that you'd never stop learning, and I find that really exciting," said Violet O'Brien, a notary in Houston.
Texas notary Violet O'Brien (right) at a meeting with a client.
Courtesy Violet O'Brien

Inside Houston’s "vibrant but chaotic" strip mall economy

Oct 2, 2023
The centers are home to small businesses selling niche products, foods and services that represent the city’s increasingly diverse population.
Houston's diversity is "partially because of the affordability and availability of spaces such as strip malls," says architect Jesús Vassallo.
Elizabeth Trovall/Marketplace

Fossil fuels built Houston into an energy capital. Can it lead the clean energy transition?

Sep 13, 2023
With the aid of workers, technology and cash from the oil and gas industry, new companies offer a glimpse of a post-fossil fuels future.
An oil refinery in operation with the Houston skyline in the background. Fossil fuels continue to enrich the Texas economy, but some see the need to respond to the climate crisis.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images