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Relocating within Texas: Best of both worlds?

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I'm exploring to see what else is out there. 

I live in the SE Texas Gulf Coast area, and I'll be out of grad school within a year, ready to start my own practice as a professional head shrinker.  I have a good number of contacts in the field around Texas to help me get established. 

I'm looking for a town around the Houston or Dallas area with a decent amount of forest to take my kids out to experience hiking/camping/TSP-type getting-back-to-nature stuff.  Reasonable (not inflated) housing prices a must.  Low crime, low corruption, good schools, etc.  So I'm looking for some city with nearby nature for weekend excursions.  Does such a thing exist?

I grew up in Plano, and knew nothing of nature/survival/etc.  It's a concrete jungle and I don't want my kids to grow up there. 

Any ideas?

Houston area would be a better bet than the D/FW area for forested areas and such, though I wouldn't want to live or work in either. I spent a fair bit of time in Houston when my wife was having radiation after her tumor was removed. I hated it. Rude people(and lots of them), terrible traffic, etc.. D/FW isn't much of an improvement IMO, and you'll have to drive farther to find forested areas. I'd imagine that housing prices are high either way.

Look at Corps of Engineers maps, state public land maps, and national forest maps for a better idea of what is available and where. I know of quite a few areas around here, but few elsewhere.

By forested, do you just mean state parks and wildlife areas?
If you look east side of Dallas or Plano you will be within 1.5 hours of some nice options.

Would you consider Tyler? Or College Station?  Both are smaller, maybe less rude people.  A lot cheaper(Tyler) anyway. 

Not sure about Shrinkage opportunities.

The Woodlands is a major suburb of Houston but really a pretty large city in its own right.  I live in the middle of Houston and my thoughts are leaning towards moving north or west of the Woodlands and getting a job there and commuting in from someplace in the country.

I think Dallas is a better job market, but I know a lot people in your line of work doing telemedicine. So it is possible to live rural and have the city within an hour. Tyler has some beautiful lakes.   


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