Meredith Ellis harbors no illusions when it comes to the demands of running a cattle ranch. As she offers me a cozy blanket to keep warm during our “buggy” ride on her Kawasaki Mule around her family’s three-thousand-acre G Bar C Ranch on a crisp December morning, she tells me she has “about a hundred items” on her to-do list. Ellis, forty, isn’t complaining; she just knows what it takes to do what she loves, and to do it well. When I ask if she ever takes a vacation, she replies immediately, without a trace of regret: “There is no day off. Ever.”

Read more from Dina Gachman with Texas Monthly here.