Watch on

Our forthcoming September issue includes a very special report on the subject of how to raise a Texan. Every feature story in the magazine is dedicated to answering this question, from a variety of angles. Starting at the moment of birth, and progressing all the way through the many stages of Lone Star Parenthood until the kids leave home, we asked a diverse group of writers to weigh in on what it means to bring their kids up with a sense of Texan identity. The results span all the way from John Phillip Santos’ exploration of his infant daughter’s nascent world and Skip Hollandsworth’s madcap Texas road trip with his sixteen-year-old and her friends to Sterry Butcher’s dispatch from the magical world of the Dipper Ranch in far West Texas, where three boys live a life untouched by the modern world.

Those stories and a whole lot more will be on newsstands and online next week. But we couldn’t wait any longer to share the cover of this special issue. It showcases a few of the little ones from the next generation of Texans, all in their boots. In order to get this shot, we had to corral dozens more kids than we would ultimately need, and this behind-the-scenes video from the cover shoot gives a sense of what a hilarious job that turned out to be. The photographer is longtime TEXAS MONTHLY contributor Randal Ford. The video was shot and edited by his assistant, Matthew Lemke.

When it comes to reference photos, sometimes we have to improvise. When we needed to shoot Associate Editor David Courtney (known to the world as the Texanist) holding a baby well, one wasn’t readily available. Enter a pillow filched from a nearby couch and a little imagination, and illustrator Jack Unruh was able to fill in the blanks. To check and see if your parenting skills are panning out to producing a fine little Texan, go check out The Texanist’s Parenting Quiz in our September issue, online now!