From the first 17th- century Spanish missions to Johnson Space Center's mission control, no other state exemplifies the independent spirit of the frontier more than Texas. It's the largest state in the continental US, hosting 11 different distinct ecological regions, from desert valleys to wooded mountain slopes. Explore the brush country of the Rio Grande and step among the yucca and cacti of the south Texan desert. Walk through the dusty forts and settlements of the Big Bend and ride horseback through a ranch larger than all of Rhode Island. See the Lone Star State in this photographic tribute of everything from the High Plains to the Gulf Coast.