From her office overlooking Spring Lake, Dr. Christina Lopez has a view of the curious tourists, strolling locals, and excited schoolchildren who navigate the paths and exhibits surrounding the headwaters of the San Marcos River. It’s a fitting location for Lopez, a geographer whose research explores human relationships with nature and what motivates some people to take an active role in environmental stewardship.

“This area is an interface of different geographical regions—the Balcones Escarpment, the San Marcos Springs, and the Blackland Prairie that leads to the coast,” said Lopez, coastal coordinator for Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University.

Read more from Matt Joyce with Texas State University Newsroom here.