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Texas State University-San Marcos

San Marcos, Texas

San Marcos is the perfect location for a university. Housing is decent, there is tons of restaurants and bar, and Texas State University is quickly catching up to other central Texas school in terms of academic quality. The location of the university makes it possible for students to work or intern in San Antonio or Austin. The campus sits on the San Marcos River, and the university owns a park on the river. The San Marcos River and the Blanco river run through San Marcos, meaning there is tons of water activities for everyone. The tuition at Texas State University and the cost of living makes it easier to afford than some of the school’s direct competition. The campus is beautiful, and the professors are decent. Overall, Texas State provides everything a college student could want in the perfect location for a college student. Texas State University has received a bad reputation for being a party school in the past, but that reputation is unwarranted. Texas State does have a very active party scene, but the university has a lot more to offer.

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Living at Texas State University-San Marcos


Nightlife around Texas State is everything you could want in a college town. The main late night spot in town is called the Square, which is a literal square of bars and restaurants located within walking distance of campus. While a little less crazy than 6th street in Austin, the atmosphere on the square can compete with any college area. For those under 21, the square if pretty much off limits after dark. However, Texas State hosts a number of plays, dances and other performances. Tickets for students are cheap, and it is a good excuse to dress up and act artsy for a night!


Everything one needs to survive can be found within walking distance from the campus, but, it will come at a cost. Many students choose to move further in to town to save on rent and food. The Texas State shuttle runs to almost every apartment complex and is very reliable. The city also has a bus system, which will take people to Austin, however, this is not reliable. There are two cab companies in town, but it is much cheaper and easier to Uber everywhere. Most people do! Biking is also common.


A student could easily get away with living on campus without a car. There are two HEBs, known to locals as the little and the big HEB, within walking distance. The school is surrounded by restaurants, apartments, coffee shops and even bars. There is an urgent care and a vet close by. However, living that close comes with a hefty price tag and a limited choice of apartment complexes. Those who want to drive will save a decent amount of money in the long run.

Party Scene

The party scene at Texas State is amazing. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night are big nights on the Square. Most students start on one corner of the block and do not stop until the reach the end. Party busses pick up at two apartment complexes just off I-35 and take students to 6th Street in Austin. House parties in San Marcos are very common. There are a number of frat and sorority houses that throw huge parties every week. It’s easy to find a party at someone’s house or apartment without knowing anyone.

Area Crime

Like most college towns, there is a certain level of crime that comes with living in such a populated area. While San Marcos has seen its share of violent crime over the years, most crime is petty theft or public drunkenness. The police are also very serious about fake ID’s on the square. The area is pretty much safe enough to walk around at night, with the exception of a few apartment complexes that have had some drug related violence, but those are rare.

Off-Campus Dining

San Marcos has tons of fast food, being a college town. There are also many hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are worth noting. Gumbies is a local pizza place. It’s a bit pricey, but is popular with college students. Italian Garden is a quaint place that is surprisingly cheap considering the quality of the food and the portions. Asian Garden is another cheap college favorite. Many restaurants are open very late. There is tons of junk food and comfort food to indulge in!

Neighborhoods around Texas State University-San Marcos

East of Campus

East of Texas State University is the historic district. Many of the houses here were built in the early 1900’s. There are markers giving information about each historical house. The sidewalks and roads are always maintained because of how much everyone likes the historic district. This are is characterized by the huge, old trees which have been growing for hundreds of years and are highly valued by the locals. There are not many housing options for students in this area, though some students are able to rent rooms in the area.

North of Campus

North of Texas State University is a number of residential areas. Post Road, which runs through the North section, leads to many smaller, often dirt, roads. This area has a lot of ranches and secluded homes. During heavy rains low water crossings in this area will flood. Many of the locals in this area want to get away from the college town feel. Many have been on their property for generations, however, many owners in this area are choosing to sell now, because they are unhappy with the growing population.

West of Campus

West of San Marcos is almost exclusively Texas State Students. Off of North LBJ there are at least five apartment complexes and a number of houses owned or rented by college students. Some locals live in this area, but they have mostly left due to the influx of college students as the university grows. There are quite a few parks and trails in this area. Most places are dog friendly, and it is common to see dogs out. At night there are tons of parties to be found in this area.

South of Campus

South of the university, stretching from the university to the outlet malls, is where the majority of San Marcos residents live. Many of the town staples, such as the police station and the newspaper, are located in this area. There are tons of strip malls and restaurants here. This area is centralized on I-35 and is made up of a network of residential areas. The average household in San Marcos is low income, so many of the residential areas over here are considered low income. There are not as many student apartments located here.

Average Rents at Texas State University-San Marcos

Average rents within 5 miles of Texas State University-San Marcos.

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