The city of San Marcos has requested a permit from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife to destroy Capes Dam (weir) and use the material to block the entrance to the mill race channel of the San Marcos River.
This would end the flow in this quarter-mile stretch of water that holds a population of federally protected Fountain Darter fish, and feeds a most beautiful waterfall and swimming hole that I have known and loved for more than 50 years.
To see this place, drive a quarter mile mile east of Interstate 35 on River Road and park on the right by The Woods apartments before the intersection with Cape Street. Then cross Cape Street and go toward the river past the old house and garage to the Thompson’s Islands historical marker, then stay toward the left and walk about 80 yards down to the waterfall. You can take a swim below the falls by crossing the little foot bridge above the waterfall and going down to the left to the bottom of Thompson’s Islands here in John J. Stokes Jr. City Park.
It’s not too late to save the mill race and the waterfall. San Marcos residents — anyone who cares — can ask their elected representatives in the Texas Legislature to demand impartial peer review of the “science” behind the city’s request and a full National Environmental Policy Act review process — as well as more balanced and public scrutiny of historical significance and recreational value before Texas Parks & Wildlife grants a permit to ruin this precious place.
ALFRED LEE McALISTER