Austin | Dallas | Houston
CultureMap Contributors
Austin Photo Author: Melissa_Gaskill

Melissa Gaskill


An independent journalist for 17 years, Melissa has degrees in Zoology and Journalism and specializes in science, nature, and outdoor-oriented travel. She grew up in Texas, raised three children in Austin, and enjoys camping, hiking, kayaking and scuba diving. Her work has appeared in American Way, Family Fun, Men's Journal, Wildflower, Smithsonian, Texas Highways, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Co-op Power, the Austin American Statesman and many other publications. She is the author of Best Hikes with Dogs: Texas Hill Country and Gulf Coast, now in its second printing, and often gives talks on hiking with dogs.

See list of all CultureMap contributors
All articles by this author.  58 Results. Showing 1 to 20
Page 1 of 3

Coffee Any Way You Like It

Austin's cold-brewed coffee market heats up with the help of local retailers

By Melissa Gaskill

The Austin coffee scene has been hot for years (pun intended) but the latest trend goes cold. Cold-brewed, that is. Most of us make coffee by pouring boiling water ...

London Calling

On board the Dreamliner: British Airways' new direct flight from Austin to London

By Melissa Gaskill

The “international” in Austin Bergstrom International Airport  bumped up a notch on March 3 when British Airways launched direct flights between Austin and London. Five days a week now, and ...

Austin's Environmental Year

10 major Austin environmental actions of 2013

By Melissa Gaskill

Austin is known for loving its natural environment, and sometimes we take action to protect and enhance it. Here, in no particular order, are 10 things that happened in 2013 ...

Big Science

Invisibility cloaks and galaxies far away: Austin's 5 top science events of 2013

By Melissa Gaskill

The scientific community constantly makes new discoveries and fascinating observations, improving our health, advancing our horizons, saving wild species, changing the technology that permeates our lives. This year saw its ...

Meat and Moonshine

Taking the cure: Handmade charcuterie and cocktails play special role at Central Texas restaurant

By Melissa Gaskill

Two large glass jars on the gleaming, stainless steel counter held a clear, slightly golden liquid, bright yellow lemons and fresh sprigs of thyme. The bartender poured a drink from ...

Hot Holiday Tamales

Christmas tamale-making 101: Scenes from a Texas tamalada

By Melissa Gaskill

I sprinkled salt, pepper, and chili powder over the ball of masa in a bowl in front of me, then kneaded it with my bare hands. Flores Soliz spooned the ...

Let the 'Games' Begin

Archery craze catches fire as novices pumped for Hunger Games sequel lift bows and learn to shoot

By Melissa Gaskill

The arrow struck the target with a satisfying thwack, landing just inside a blue circle worth 20 points. Not bad for someone who, up until an hour ago, had never ...

Bullock Museum's Extreme Mammals

Extreme Mammals exhibit makes exclusive Texas stop at Austin's Bullock museum

By Melissa Gaskill

In late October, 11 18-wheelers arrived at Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, packed with 120 Indiana Jones-style crates: large, wooden boxes marked “Fragile” and “This Side Up.” “Extreme ...

Wine, Cake and Views

Meet the newest member of the Texas Hill Country wine family

By Melissa Gaskill

Add another stop to the long and growing list of must-visit Texas Hill Country wineries. Hawk’s Shadow Winery, which can be found down a narrow, winding road west of ...

Street Treats at ACL Fest

Street Treats food carts offer Austin's homeless an opportunity to earn income at ACL Fest

By Melissa Gaskill

Attendees at this weekend’s second act of ACL Festival have a choice of nearly 40 food vendors offering everything from veggie burgers to pork belly banh mi sandwiches. In ...

Eat More Lionfish

Doing a good deed has never been so delicious

By Melissa Gaskill

I went to Cove Bar, part of the Haven Restaurant in Houston, for the express purpose of eating a lionfish. This invasive species is wreaking havoc throughout the South Atlantic ...

After West, Texas

Texas fertilizer plant explosion like the one in West could happen again

By Melissa Gaskill

The explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, Texas in April 2013 seemed like a freak accident, but in reality Texas has more than 100 similar facilities, any one of ...

Survival Skills and Spa Time

Learn how to survive the apocalypse while sitting in the lap of luxury

By Melissa Gaskill

It pays to be prepared, whether you want to survive getting lost in the woods, the next hurricane or a zombie apocalypse. Stockpiling food and water is a start, but ...

Sharks in 3D

Great white sharks prepare to invade Austin in 3D

By Melissa Gaskill

On August 2, the ocean’s greatest predator will arrive in Austin — on film, that is. Great White Shark 3D debuts at the Bullock Texas State History Museum’s IMAX ...

Preserving Texas

Texas Land Conservancy's new Land for Water initiative aims to protect key watersheds

By Melissa Gaskill

A small crowd sipped sangria and craft beers and nibbled on pastrami at Salt & Time on last Thursday. Rather than your typical hipster confab, this was an event marking the ...

Vacation Preparation

Riding the Vomit Comet: Experts debate how to deal with motion sickness

By Melissa Gaskill

Forget to consider this one thing while making vacation plans, and your trip could be ruined. We're talking about motion sickness: A condition to which a whopping 70 percent ...

Cool Summer Science

Play scientific curator and preview new exhibit at Texas Memorial Museum

By Melissa Gaskill

The halls of the Texas Memorial Museum make a cool place to hang out on a hot summer day; they’re not only marble-floored and air conditioned, but also filled ...

The Upside of Agave

Tequila tasting: There's more to this liquor than meets the margarita

By Melissa Gaskill

Tequila often carries the baggage of many an ill-conceived spring break or college parties featuring shots and ever-churning margarita machines. It's your perpetually adolescent cousin — a lot of fun ...

Entertainment at sea

Load up the car and head to the Caribbean: Cruises from Galveston make it possible

By Melissa Gaskill

From the first hors d'oeuvres we nibbled standing in the galley to the final bite of Belgium Dark Chocolate Dome Cake and sip of Limoncello, the Chef’s Table ...

fun and fresh

Not into toasting in the new year? Start 2013 outdoors with these refreshing hikes

By Melissa Gaskill

Some of us focus on the New Year's Eve experience, while others are more into New Year's day.    If you prefer the latter, kick off 2013 by enjoying ...

All articles by this author.  58 Results. Showing 1 to 20
Page 1 of 3

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Austin news, views + events

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address

Featured CultureLists