My Reflection

I started this blog purely because my Fundamentals of Digital and Online Media (FDOM) course required me too. It was meant to teach me how to properly blog and keep up with promoting my blog. It was interesting. Although I did enjoy having and creating my very own blog, I don’t think I did everything I could to promote it.


Interesting enough, my most popular day was Wednesday.

The most effective way I found at promoting my blog wasn’t through my twitter, but through WordPress itself. I should of utilized the tags more in my blogs, I found that the more tags I had the more hits I had on that post. I found that promoting it on my twitter was a hassle and didn’t really reap the benefits I thought it would. This has been an experience I learned from though. I’m a journalism major with the want to be an editor after graduation, and I know it’s really important to be able to use sites like WordPress efficiently.

My most popular month was March, for some reason, and I got a total of around 15 visitors. My blog wasn’t as popular as I would of liked it to be, but i’m assuming that comes with the territory. My most popular article was the one about Purgatory Creek Park, and i’m assuming this much because it has a cool name. The most surprising this about all this was that because so little people were tuning in, my blog felt a little more like a diary? I guess this is the purest form of journalism.


San Marcos’ MR Fest

As you all may know, I’m a part of Texas State University’s radio station KTSW The Other Side of Radio. I work as an editor, and as of next year i’ll be an assistant in the Web Content Department. I’m really excited. Anyway, every spring KTSW puts on a MR Fest. It stands for My Radio Festival, and it features bands from all over San Marcos and the surrounding areas. This year was the 10th anniversary of the festival, so we kicked it off in a big way. We had 65 different bands, 10 different venues and around 10 comedians that all performed on April 28-29. It was an amazing thing to be apart of, and it was completely student led. Everything from sponsorship, contacting the bands, sound equipment, food and venues were acquired and ran by members of KTSW. Here are a few photos of the event!

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My University

When I first started my blog for class, I told myself that I would devote one of my posts to my own university. Now that my semester is coming to an end, and in turn so is my blog assignment I found it fitting for my university to be one of my last posts.

As you guys will know, i’m a sophomore student at Texas State University. I’m majoring in journalism and minoring in English. My plan is to be an editor after graduation, the goal is a publishing house but i’ll take what I can get. In addition I work as an editor for KTSW radio station, and work mostly with their blogFullSizeRender

When I was a senior in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I did, however, know where I wanted to go to school. I knew tons of people that had attended Texas State, and they always spoke so highly of what the school had to offer. So I applied, and was accepted with early admission. I never looked back. Honestly, it’s probably one of the best choices I could have ever made. I could of gone anywhere in the state, but Texas State seemed (and is) like the best fit for me.

This is a video interview of one of my friends, Asia, and her take on Texas State and San Marcos.

Because of my school, i’ve had new experiences, worked with different people, made wonderful friends, expanded my want of learning and overall have had a more positive outlook on life. This school has taught me much more than my degree program, it’s taught me about life. Texas State has become my home, and i’m so proud to be a Bobcat.


Valentino’s Pizza

I’m a huge pizza lover, but I think everyone is. The cool thing about it is that everyone can enjoy it: vegetarians, vegans and gluten intolerants. I know most people will stick to the usual pizza places like Dominos, Pizza Hut and Papa Johns. However, I recently tried one of San Marcos’ long time pizza parlors, Valentino’s PizzaIMG_3828. It wasn’t the best in the world, but I can completely understand why it’s been open for so long.

I went on a Thursday night at around 8 p.m., and this is when they have live music (which I didn’t know of). If you’re a person who only likes pop or country this place isn’t for you, at least not on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. The place has a hard rock sort of feel, and they feature local rock and alternative bands on these weekday nights. Just a heads up, the music will get very loud. If you’re not a fan of rock music, then I suggest going during lunch or on the weekend.

As far as pizza goes, it was pretty good. Not one of the best i’ve had, but it filled me up and left me satisfied. They offer sell an assortment of other pizza parlor and italian food like: pasta, wings, pizza rolls, subs and alcohol (nothing is better than pizza and beer). Another cool things, is that every day is a new discount. On some nights they’ll sell wings discounted, and other nights give you a discount on a large pizza and pitcher of beer. I know that they also do lunch buffets during the week, and have open salad bars.

Valentino’s Pizza was a win in my book. They offer a family friendly environment while also appealing to other aspects that is a college town. Valentino’s Pizza is located at 110 N LBJ Dr. San Marcos,Texas.

Five Mile Dam Park

In the last year many of my friends have been talking about Five Mile Dam Park, and I had no idea what this place was. Then, when I spoke to one of my more outdoorsy friends about it they insisted I give it a visit. I was not disappointed.

Upon entering the park you notice a different range of fields that local sports leagues use for practice, but it’s past all this that the true attraction is shown. The park is located in front of the San Marcos river, and is surrounded by grass or smooth white rocks. It’s a gorgeous sight. The far side of the river has cliffs with what i’m guessing are very expensive houses perched on the edge (what lucky owners). The river is clear and cool, and while the first half of it is about waist deep there are shallower parts.

Although camping isn’t allowed at the park, it’s a great place to park for the day. You can bring your ice chest, a couple of chairs, good friends and maybe a dog or two and I promise you’ll be set for a great day. While some people did just this others preferred to go tubing on the river with a couple of drinks (which sounds just as as appealing). Other people chose to simply lay out in the hot sun and dip their feet in the river while enjoying a good book.Whatever you choose to do while at Five Mile Dam Park it’s a beautiful place to get some vitamin D.

Five Mile Dam Park is located at 4440 S Old Stagecoach Road in San Marcos, Texas.

Do Orlando Local Review

When I chose to start a blog about my different experiences in San Marcos, I didn’t really think it was a unique topic. However, I love SM and figured it was a town that didn’t get much recognition. After my first few posts, I started looking more into blogs about city experiences through the locals eyes and was surprised at how few blogs there were. There was one that stood out to me tremendously because it’s what I want my blog to look like after a few months. This blog is DO ORLANDO LOCAL. 

I love that the author of the site includes multiple things in her posts. It’s especially nice since she gives her articles a general theme and revolves them around that. Then, her little themes revolve around the theme of visiting Orlando as a local. I like the way she organizes and maintains her blog as a whole. 

A screen shot of Do Orlando Local’s blog!

My favorite article was New Orlando Foodie Spots. Her article made me want to pick up and move there because by the end of it my mouth was watering. She makes everything sound so appealing, and the photos she has make it look so much better. The photos are probably my favorite part, I know that’s not what most people look at. Her writing is wonderful, but it’s the photos that catch my interest and make me keep reading. 

Overall, Do Orlando Local is a great blog. If you haven’t checked for yourself, take a look! 

Tubing and Swimming in the San Marcos River

Before I even moved to San Marcos, I knew what it was famous for. That was Texas State University and tubing on the river. It’s local’s favorite thing to do and college students favorite way of procrastinating their work. Especially since we’re in the heart of Texas and it’s basically summer year round. Here’s how to maximize your next (and maybe first) trip to the river.

First and foremost, take sunscreen. Your body will be so angry with you if you don’t. The Texas heat isn’t one to joke around, and in the summer months it can get to be over 100 degrees. You’ll have a much better time overall if you aren’t an angry lobster the next day.

Secondly, snacks. Bring tons of snacks and water with you, so that way you don’t have to leave home because you’re hungry. There’s also places around the river access that offer food and drinks during the summer time. However, if you do want to eat at a good restaurant close to the river I recommend Herbert’s. It’s a good and local Mexican restaurant that’s know for their amazing enchiladas.

Thirdly, bring good company. Nothing is better than relaxing on the river, whether it be swimming or tubing, with your friends. I usually go with my dog and my boyfriend, but my friends are always welcomed. I love the river, and I use different parts of it but mostly I find myself at Sewell Park. It’s Texas States portion of the river so it’s constantly swarmed with students.

Texas State’s very own Sewell River.

I hope you keep these things in mind when you’re planning you’re next river trip!

Center Point Station

Everyone loves a good burger, and if you’re a vegetarian (or vegan) then a good veggie burger. Being the daughter of butcher, I’ve always been a little picky about the types of burgers (and meat in general) that I eat. However, on one of my first trips to San Marcos a few years back my mom had us stop at this little diner, Center Point Station.

Center Point Station looks like a usual dinner IMG_3563on the outside, but it also triples as a diner, bakery and boutique shop. They sell kolaches, brownies, cinnamon rolls, cookies and anything else your sweet tooth could want at the bakery. Then at their boutique, they sell a lot of handbags, shoes, clothes and different gift items. The boutique also has little toys available for the little ones. Aside all this, it’s the diner (the burgers) that bring in the crowd.

Their burgers are to die for. They’re served on homemade buns, and with a side of fresh fries. My absolute favorite is their Jalapeno Cheese Buger. It’s served on a homemade jalapeno bun with cheese, tomato, onion, pickles and of course jalapenos. Honestly, it’s making my mouth water just thinking about it. If you’re feeling a little hungrier, or want something to share for the table, then I suggest getting an order of fried pickles. They’re the bomb.

Center Point Station has to be one of my all-time favorite burger places. Every time I meet someone who hasn’t been there I’ll drag them there right away. Center Point Station is located at 3946 S Interstate Hwy 35, San Marcos, Texas 78666.

Purgatory Creek Park

One of my favorite places in San Marcos is Purgatory Creek Park. It’s about 81 acres of undisturbed land, and there are tons of different walking and biking trails. It’s the perfect place to go with friends, a significant other and most importantly your furry friends.


My nine month old pup, Stark, on one of the trails.

I’m at Purgatory Creek at least once a week. My dog loves the trails, so it’s the perfect place for the both of us to get a workout in. I recommend going about an hour or two before sundown (4:30-5ish), so that way you can experience the sunset at the different peaks throughout the park. I can usually spend about an hour or two at the park, and it’s my favorite way to end the day.

Personally, I think it’s also a great place to get away from everything. Everything is so peaceful and still. I often put my phone on silent or turn it off completely, so I don’t have any distractions. That way I’m free to enjoy the beauty around me.

Purgatory Creek doesn’t have any drinking water available, and they don’t have any restrooms in the park area. If you plan on going I suggest you take the following in a backpack:

  • Water (for your dog as well)
  • Snacks (for you)
  • A treat (for your dog)
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • A cap
  • A small first aid kit (to be on the safe side)

Regardless of who you take, what time you go or how long you’re there for I know you’ll enjoy every minute of it. Purgatory Creek is a breath of fresh air, and it’s natural beauty is a perfect addition to San Marcos.

Purgatory Creek Park is located at Ranch Road 12, San Marcos, TX 78666.

Hey Guys!

Welcome to my blog “My guide through San Marcos”. My name is Janessa Rutiaga, and I’m a 20-year-old journalism student at Texas State University. For those of you who don’t know, Texas State University is in the beautiful city of San Marcos, roughly 45 minutes away from Austin, Texas and about an hour away from San Antonio, Texas. I’ve been living in SM for two years now, and I love everything about it. I love it so much, that I chose it as my topic of conversation for this blog.


This is me. 

My blog will have posts ranging from local restaurants (that are the bomb), the places and things to do in the square (our downtown area), and all the nooks and crannies in between. San Marcos is a relatively small town, but thanks to the humongous university located right at its doors there’s tons of things to do and places to see. We even have our own amusement park, but more on that later.

I have no real purpose with this blog, other than to educate you about my lovely town. Personally, I think it’s a beautiful place with a lot of diversity and I think it deserves the recognition. We have the city thing going on, but we also preserve our wildlife and parks (the number of animals I see around town is weird). We have a river perfect for the summer, and lots of parks and festivals during the winter. It’s the best place to be, so come fall in love with my beautiful San Marcos.