Austin, located in central Texas, is the State Capital. The city is located on terraced bluffs along a bend in the Colorado River, about 160 miles west of Houston in Travis County.
Austin became the capital of the Republic of Texas in 1839, then became the state capital when Texas joined the Union in 1845. The writer O. Henry was an Austin resident; the city formed a backdrop for many of his stories.
As well as being a trans-shipment point for a large agricultural area, Austin enjoys a technology-oriented economy based on electronics and semiconductors, computers and peripherals, and software. The University of Texas has a campus in Austin. The city reflects its Hispanic and African-American heritage in food and music. In addition, listeners from all over tune in to Austin City Limits, PBS's country-western show. Austin is one of a few U.S. cities with professional ballet, symphony, opera and theater companies.