They Call Them “Winter Texans”
I think about half the Upper Midwest must be down here.
Here in South Texas, many businesses thrive serving those who come south during the winter to escape the vicious cold weather elsewhere. These escapees, mostly active retired people, are known sometimes as “snowbirds,” but the generally preferred term is “Winter Texans.” That term implies that, for at least a couple of months of the year, these people consider themselves citizens of the Lone Star State. Throughout the Rio Grande Valley, one can see car license plates from many points north; in just half an hour today, I saw plates from Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Delaware, New Hampshire, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. Oh, and of course, New Mexico.
Nearly as numerous is a category of visitors who aren’t escaping from northern climates. Their license plates are from Tamaulipas, Neuvo Leone, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Chihuahua, Veracruz, and Districto Federal. These visitors are typically found concentrated in the vicinity of malls and major stores, and they are known as “shoppers.”
Edit: Added photo, fixed grammar 12/31/05