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It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Medina, TX

Home Care Medina, TX

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic غزوة احد gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Medina, TX is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Medina, TX

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“I work for this team and it's a wonderful team , great communication and support for our clients, their family members and our caring team of staff .”

Antoinette G.

“Ken and Bonnie are wonderful people to help care for your loved ones. their staff was so caring to my mother and so nice to my family I highly recommend them to take care of your loved ones. I think there ought to be more than just five stars to give them”

Mark A.

“I am a past client of this provider Ken and Bonnie were wonderful to work with. They were able to provide my mother with care and a very short notice. Their staff was some of the most caring people that I've ever met. Not only were they wonderful to my mother but also to my family. I would highly recommend using them.”

Mark A.

“For those who are searching for qualified caregivers for their loved ones, contact Ken Thomas at Always Best Care Senior Services. Mr. Thomas provides an authentic and professional guiding hand when discussing available services for your precious senior family members. When it is time for a beloved senior to receive assistance, Mr. Thomas understands the importance of providing trustworthy and quality support.”

Melissa C.

“Ken leads his Always Best Care Senior Services Agency with compassion for his clients and their families. He is a local senior care expert and leader in his community. If you are need of assistance in navigating your local senior care options, then do not hesitate to give Ken a call!”

Kelly B.

“Kenneth is kind, patient, experienced and knowledgeable. We are thankful to him for all his efforts and for going above and beyond.”

Chae S.

“Very professional and welcoming people so I would definitely recommend my friends and family to Always Best Care in Boerne.”

Laurie K.

“The owner is so understanding and supportive of how I want my loved ones cared for. He and his staff actually listen to what I would like done for my parents. Very thoughtful, very professional and very caring. It’s such a relief to have help in caring for my loved ones”

Kristen B.

“Kenneth is knowledgeable and trustworthy. I can’t recommend him enough. You’re in good hands with Kenneth.”

Chae S.

“ALWAYS BEST CARE is certainly a warm & caring business owned & operated by Ken Thomas. I certainly would recommend them for you or your loved ones excellent care.”

Shirley S.

“I will be forever grateful for the love you showered upon us and my grandmother”

Jill &.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Medina, TX?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Medina, TX

Types of Elderly Care in Medina, TX

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Medina, TX
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Medina, TX
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Roscoe Ewing Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Medina, TX
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Sérénité Restaurant & Culinary Institute or visit كهف الخوذة - الطاقية, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Medina, TX

Benefits of Home Care in Medina, TX

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Medina, TX, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Medina, TX

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your TX's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Medina, TX

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Medina, TX understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Medina, TX

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Medina, TX

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Medina Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center
  • A Place For Mom - Senior Living Advisor Truda Swanson
  • Blue Skies of Texas West
  • Afv Liberty House
  • Golden Age Senior Placement
  • Freedom House Alzheimer's Care
Home Care Medina, TX

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Medina, TX

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Medina, TX 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Medina, TX

Latest News in Medina, TX

Fatal deer disease confirmed in Medina County ahead of fall hunting season

A fatal neurological disease among deer was detected in a 1-year-old buck in Medina County.The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said the buck tested positive during live animal testing at a deer-breeding facility. A postmortem test confirmed it had CWD.Recommended VideosUnbeaten McCollum suffers first loss of seasonThis is a modal window.No compatible source was found for this media.Matthew Guerra's cause of death was 'contact gunshot wound to the head,' medical examiner confirmsWatch POV v...

A fatal neurological disease among deer was detected in a 1-year-old buck in Medina County.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said the buck tested positive during live animal testing at a deer-breeding facility. A postmortem test confirmed it had CWD.

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This marks the fifth CWD detection at a Medina County breeding facility since 2015.

A surveillance zone spanning a 2-mile radius will be placed around the facility. Deer harvested within that zone must be presented at a check-in station in Hondo within 48 hours, a news release states.

“CWD has an incubation period that can span years, so the first indication of the disease in a herd is often found through surveillance testing rather than observed clinical signs,” the release states. “Early detection and proactive monitoring improve the state’s response time to the detection of CWD and can greatly reduce the risk of further disease spread.”

CWD is fatal for certain cervids, like deer, elk, moose and others in the deer family.

Its incubation period can last for years, meaning animals who have the disease may go a while without showing symptoms.

As the disease progresses, it causes weight loss, stumbling, tremors, excessive thirst, salivation or urination, loss of appetite, teeth grinding, abnormal head posture and/or drooping ears. It never goes dormant and can remain on land for several years.

TPWD is urging hunters to take precautions when harvesting deer this fall season.

Around Texas, there are several CWD zones and check-in stations where hunters are required to present their deer.

Click here to view a map of those CWD zones and check-in stations.

There are no known cases of a human becoming infected with the disease, but hunters should test their harvested species for the disease before consuming them, TPWD states.

The general season for white-tail deer starts on Nov. 4, and the general season for mule deer starts in mid-late November, depending on where you live.

Click here to see hunting seasons by animal.

Read more:

Fire in Medina County destroys one home, burns two acres

Officials said the blaze threatened several other homes, but was eventually extinguished.MEDINA COUNTY, Texas — Fire crews and neighbors worked together to contain a brush fire in Medina County on Tuesday night that destroyed a home.The blaze threatened several houses off I-35 between Lytle and Natalia, and one witnes...

Officials said the blaze threatened several other homes, but was eventually extinguished.

MEDINA COUNTY, Texas — Fire crews and neighbors worked together to contain a brush fire in Medina County on Tuesday night that destroyed a home.

The blaze threatened several houses off I-35 between Lytle and Natalia, and one witness said he heard an explosion. Officials said that two acres burned, but was contained thanks to the efforts of four departments and 10 trucks that came together.

Hilario Perez said he smelled burning and saw black smoke before he saw the flames approaching his neighbor's home. He and the neighbors were working to contain the fire when the heard a loud boom. He says it was a gas line that exploded. He mentioned that the wind and dry grass were a concern.

Perez said that the firefighters had been busy and were tired, and that they had encouraged him and his neighbor to help them pull out the hose.

"It's a pretty tough job if you ask me," he said. "I do have a cousin in the fire department, so to me I was proud to give a little hand."

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KENS 5 has brought numerous firsts to South Texas television, including being the first local station with a helicopter, the first with its own Doppler radar and the first to air a local morning news program.

Over the years, KENS 5 has worked to transform local news. Our cameras have been the lens bringing history into local viewers' homes. We're proud of our legacy as we serve San Antonians today.

Today, KENS 5 continues to set the standard in local broadcasting and is recognized by its peers for excellence and innovation. The KENS 5 News team focuses on stories that really matter to our community.

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Plan in the works to help improve the Medina River’s water quality

Efforts by state environmental agencies to improve the water quality within the Medina River could have significant trickle-down benefits for the San Antonio River.The Texas Water Resources Institute, a research arm of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, has partnered with the San Antonio River Authority to create a watershed improvement plan that will help improve the water quality of the Lower Medina River watershed. Currently, the water quality in the Medina River below Diversion Lake — just west of San Antonio &mda...

Efforts by state environmental agencies to improve the water quality within the Medina River could have significant trickle-down benefits for the San Antonio River.

The Texas Water Resources Institute, a research arm of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, has partnered with the San Antonio River Authority to create a watershed improvement plan that will help improve the water quality of the Lower Medina River watershed. Currently, the water quality in the Medina River below Diversion Lake — just west of San Antonio — is designated by the state as impaired because of elevated bacteria levels, said Jason Gerlich, a research specialist at the institute.

“There are also nutrient concerns present in the watershed,” Gerlich said. “Both the bacteria impairment and nutrient concern can begin to be addressed through the watershed plan.”

While plenty of San Antonio residents take to floating the Medina River during the spring and summer months, the watershed improvement plan will have direct health benefits for the San Antonio River as well, said Lucas Gregory, an associate director of research. Just south of San Antonio, the Medina River meets and flows into the San Antonio River, which then continues southeast and drains into the San Antonio Bay and Gulf of Mexico.

“You’ve got to remember that water is a singular resource,” Gregory said. “If you live in Dallas and then you travel to Houston and drink a glass of water from Houston, you’re drinking water that came out of the wastewater treatment plant in Dallas, flowed down the Trinity River and then into [a Houston] intake system.”

As water becomes a more coveted resource in a booming Texas, making sure the water available is of good quality will continue to grow more important, he said.

The creation of this plan is being funded through a federal Clean Water Act grant administered by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Collecting input

Currently, the Texas Water Resources Institute and San Antonio River Authority are holding a series of stakeholder and public input meetings to both explain the project and its goals to nearby residents and to gauge their feedback on what they would like to see implemented, Gregory said.

The first of these meetings took place in Castroville in October. The second meeting was also in Castroville earlier this month. A date, time and place for the next meeting has yet to be set, said Laura Muntean, a media relations coordinator for Texas A&M AgriLife.

Citizen “input is essential for identifying land and water issues and ensuring that appropriate and desirable management measures are included in the watershed-based plan,” Gerlich said.

Staff holds typically four or five public input meetings before actually setting about to create the plan, Gregory said, although it can have as many as 10 to 12 if the public seems particularly interested. They can take on different formats, he noted, from lecture-style discussions to working group discussions. Educating the public on watersheds, how they work as a part of the ecosystem, and how humans impact them is also a big reason for these public meetings, he added.

“It just kind of depends on the group and how complicated the issues are in the watershed and how good their base knowledge is on those issues,” Gregory said.

After sufficient public input has been collected, the research team gets to work discussing which strategies to implement for the watershed and putting together a draft of the plan, Gregory said.

Staff uses data points about the watershed to also guide the process, he added. In this case, most of the scientific data about the Medina River has been collected by the San Antonio River Authority, Gregory said.

Common strategies that may be in a plan include educating local farmers on best practices and on which products to use or which to avoid, helping restore native grasses to riverbeds and adding more waste bins and pet waste bag stations along popular sections of a river, according to the EPA.

After the watershed improvement plan is drafted, it will go to both the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and then to the EPA, Gregory said.

“They basically just review it and say ‘Yes, this looks good to us, it meets what we say a watershed plan needs to,’ or give us other suggestions for the plan,” he said.

Data collected by the San Antonio River Authority has shown the water quality in the Medina River watershed is very poor, and the river has high levels of E. coli — a type of bacteria typically used as the testing standard, as its presence in water is a strong indicator of sewage or animal waste contamination.

The watershed improvement plan will hopefully bring those levels down, helping make the water flowing into the San Antonio River cleaner, Gregory said.

“It behooves us, and it behooves the citizens of San Antonio and in the watershed area at large, to make sure that all of our water bodies are protected as much as possible,” said Shaun Donovan, the river authority’s manager of environmental sciences.

The health of watersheds in Central Texas can directly affect the health of watersheds to the south, all the way down to the coast, Gregory said.

“That impacts that coastal water quality as well, so that’s really kind of the message that I try to convey to people — it’s really just about being good stewards of whatever resources you have,” Gregory said.

Medina Lake is still shrinking. Here's why, and why it matters.

A rainy start to 2024 brought no relief to Medina Lake, and the century-old Hill Country reservoir is continuing to shrink, slipping closer to historically low levels.Here’s a look at the state of things at the lake, and at what it would take to bring its water levels back to normal:How empty is Medina Lake?Medina Lake is currently 3.1% full, according to data from the Texas Water Development Bo...

A rainy start to 2024 brought no relief to Medina Lake, and the century-old Hill Country reservoir is continuing to shrink, slipping closer to historically low levels.

Here’s a look at the state of things at the lake, and at what it would take to bring its water levels back to normal:

How empty is Medina Lake?

Medina Lake is currently 3.1% full, according to data from the Texas Water Development Board. Water levels recorded this week have been just over 974 feet above sea level. That number that references the elevation of the top surface of the lake.

How low is that, really?

The Texas Water Development Board’s data goes back to 1997, and the lowest level recorded since then was 972.42 feet, on May 25, 2014. That’s less than two feet below the current level.

The lake is considered full when it reaches “conservation pool” at 1,064.2 feet. The last time the lake was that high was July 7, 2019.

READ MORE: Despite recent rains, San Antonio area still locked in drought

How fast is the lake level dropping?

In the past month, the lake has fallen more than six inches, according to the board’s data. With the water level down more than 1 ½ feet from three months ago, and more than 8 ½ feet from this time last year, another hot and dry summer threatens to draw the lake down to a record low.

What will it take to refill the lake?

The lake was created by building a dam on the Medina River, which springs from the ground in northwest Bexar County. In order to replenish the lake, more water needs to be entering the lake than leaving it through the dam or by evaporation — and that hasn’t been the case.

Upstream of the reservoir, the river has seen some improvement. The river gauge at Bandera reported no flow at all from late July through early December, but since then, the flow rate has increased.

According to U.S. Geological Survey data, for the past two weeks, flows have ranged from about 5 to 10 cubic feet per second, a metric that measures the volume of water. That’s still far below normal. The median flow for this time of year is more than 50 cfs. USGS data shows a one-day surge above median flows on Feb. 10. However, that data is still considered provisional and hasn’t been reviewed and approved yet.

While the San Antonio area saw more rain in January, which helped improve drought conditions, more rain is needed to the north and west in Bandera and Medina counties to help refill the lake and get the river flowing.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows a bullseye of “extreme drought” lingering over that area, stretching from Medina County through Kendall County and into Blanco County.

READ MORE: Who is ‘Edwards,’ anyway? 5 things to know about the Edwards Aquifer.

Why does Medina Lake matter?

The reservoir provides water to customers in three counties. The Bexar-Medina-Atascosa Water Control and Improvement District No. 1, known as BMA, manages the lake and distributes water to customers through a canal system. Its customers include a number of farmers who use the water for irrigation. According to the BMA, landowners use more than 46,000 acre feet of water from the lake. An acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre in one foot of water, or about 326,000 gallons.

The lake is also an important part of the tourism and recreation economy in Medina County.

The San Antonio Water System also has a contract to buy water from the lake, but hasn’t taken that water since 2015, which it says is due to low water levels and poor water quality. Under a contract from 2007, the city-owned utility is still paying the district millions of dollars for the water it isn’t using; last June, SAWS sued BMA in an effort to get out of the contract, which it inherited when it absorbed the former Bexar Metropolitan District in 2012.

That lawsuit is ongoing, according to Bexar County court records.

Feb 29, 2024

Robert Earl Keen returns from retirement full steam ahead with new album

Cowboys & Indians: Well, looks like you’ve had the shortest retirement since Frank Sinatra’s brief hiatus in 1971. Because here you are with a terrific new album, Western Chill.Robert Earl Keen: It really hinges on the fact that I am no longer touring. So that means I don’t have a bus, I don’t get in [it] and go out and tour. I do a few cameo appearances, like...

Cowboys & Indians: Well, looks like you’ve had the shortest retirement since Frank Sinatra’s brief hiatus in 1971. Because here you are with a terrific new album, Western Chill.

Robert Earl Keen: It really hinges on the fact that I am no longer touring. So that means I don’t have a bus, I don’t get in [it] and go out and tour. I do a few cameo appearances, like two or three songs for different fundraisers, and people that I like and need help, that sort of thing. The main thing is that I just continue to work in music. But the touring part is over. And that would really take up about 80 percent of my life.

C&I: But Western Chill is not just an album. Tied in with it, you’ve got a graphic novel, you’ve got a songbook, you got, I don’t know, maybe coupons for free pizza?

Keen: [Laughs] Well, we also have a DVD.

C&I: So this is quite a package, eh?

Keen: Yeah, absolutely. It’s been a project we started two and a half years ago, at the outset of COVID. When that happened, I decided to keep the entire company and the band intact. And after about a month of not touring or doing anything, I thought, well, let’s just get together and play. So they came out to the place that we have in Medina, Texas, which is west of San Antonio, about 70 miles. And we did some rehearsal. Actually, we just played for a couple of days. And then I said, well, you know, let’s just rehearse some of the stuff that we played over the years and kind of polish it up. And everybody was in on it, because it was so relaxed, and there was no timeframe really.

And while we were doing some of these rehearsals, I wrote ... Well, I actually wrote, like, five songs in one night. And the first song I wrote was this one called “Western Chill.” It’s more or less a talking blues song. And it really became the prologue to the entire project in that it lays out the vibe and the idea of just taking it easy and sitting back and just watching the sunset. Or just enjoying the air.

C&I: How did the band respond?

Keen: When they came back the next time, I said, “Here’s what I want to do: I want to take this particular song” — and I played it for them, and we rehearsed it a little bit. And then I said, “What I’d like to do is this: All you guys write songs, and you’re great players. Really great players. So bring your songs in, and we’ll do those, we’ll work those up, and see what we can do.

And they said, “You mean we bring our songs in, and you learn them, and then you sing them?” I said, “No, no. This is everybody’s thing, everybody’s in it. Bring your songs, you’re going to play them, you’re going to sing them, we’ll all learn them together.” So we did that, and then we decided that well, what we’re going to do is just record it and make a video of it, and put it out there in the world.”

C&I: And then?

Keen: So we had great audio, great video. And from there, I thought, “Well, hell, I’ll just make a record out of it.” So we made a record, and then someone suggested well, you know, you should have some kind of companion piece. And someone suggested doing a graphic novel. And I thought, well, that’s a pretty big undertaking. But we started in on that, found somebody that would do it. Got some great artwork on the LP that we produced, and it just became this thing that I call The Hill Country Multi-Media Project Lifestyle Experience.

C&I: Well, if it’s a graphic novel, are we going to see you in a cape and a superhero outfit?

Keen: [Laughs] No, not really. On the other hand, I might be self-aggrandizing a little bit, but I would have to say, in terms of making a project, it was the most fun I ever had. And you can see on the DVD, everybody’s just really relaxed and just sort of just taking it easy. And these songs — magically, they all came together. The songs that these guys brought in really fit the project perfectly, and everything just dovetailed into another song and another song so well that there is a little narrative that goes on there. Like, boy loses girl, boy meets girl, everything works out in the end kind of thing. If I’d have gone any longer, I would’ve written a musical play behind it. But maybe I’ll save that for another day.

This article appears in our August/September 2023, available on newsstands now or through our C&I Shop.


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