Hays and Caldwell Counties, part of the Austin MSA, is rich in culture and natural beauty. It consists of seven diverse cities, within two counties, that provide access to major highways, quality education, rich amenities, and an ever-growing talented workforce that continues to attract major employers from across the country and around the globe. 

map - sketch
City of Buda Mill and Grain Co
Population: 15,643
Bachelors Degree or Higher: 54.5%
Median Age: 34.6

Buda is adjacent to Austin, just 16 miles to the south along I-35. The city has access to the SH-130 toll road that connects Austin and San Antonio. The city has experienced a significant population boom in recent years and continues to be a great location for those interested in the Austin area.

Businesses from across the State of Texas and Nation are discovering that Business is Better in Buda. Buda's low cost of doing business, business incentives, fast track permitting & plan reviews, talented workforce, and below average property taxes are just a few reasons why businesses are locating and expanding in Buda.

Recent Announcements Include
  • Heaven Hill Industries (Deep Eddy Vodka) - Expansion to Buda - Over $12.5 M in Capital Investment - Vodka Distillery

  • Chip Semiconductor - New Facility - Over $5M in New Capital Investment - Manufacturing/Equipment

  • Two Wheel Brewing Company - New Company - Beer Manufacturing

  • Fat Quarter Shop - Expansion - $4.5 M in New Capital Investment - Manufacturing/Warehouse/Dist.

  • Pinballz Kingdom - New Facility - $3 M in New Capital Investment - Retail/Entertainment

  • Buda Mill & Grain - Property Development - $3+ M in Capital Investment - Retail/Mixed-Use

  • Ampersand Art Supply - Relocation - Manufacturing

  • CSI, Inc. - Relocation - Manufacturing

  • US Foods - Relocation - Distribution Facility

City of Buda
Buda Area Chamber of Commerce
Caldwell County
Lockhart courthouse
Population: 47,691
SH-130 Highway: 85 MPH
BBQ Capital of Texas: #1 in BBQ

With more than 43,000 residents, the area located just southeast of the state’s capital city is poised for major growth. With SH-130 – a toll road with an 85 MPH speed limit – running through the county, the area has the fastest highway in America, giving quick and easy access to both Austin and San Antonio. SH-130 also connects with Interstate 10, allowing easy access to Houston as well.

The County is host to the cities of Lockhart (BBQ Capital of Texas) and Luling (world-renowned Watermelon Thump event) which offer their own unique characteristics and benefits. Caldwell County is also the site of the country’s first and largest Job Corps program, Gary Job Corps, located adjacent to the San Marcos Regional Airport. 

Recent locations in Caldwell County include Iron Ox, Hershey's Ice Cream, VFT Technologies and McElroy Metal, Inc. 

Dripping Springs
Dripping Springs water tower with sunset in background
Retail Trade Area: 67,000
HS Graduation Rate: 98.6%
Bachelors Degree or Higher: 60%

While the population of Dripping Springs is close to 7,000 within the official city limits, the Retail Trade Area is home to 67,000 residents. Countless entrepreneurs and telecommuters have been attracted to the community for its proximity to the Austin/San Antonio technology sectors and ease of air travel from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. With more than 60% of the population having 4-year college degrees or higher, the community provides an existing talent pool for various industry verticals.

As the population grows, Dripping Springs works to preserve its bucolic charm through thoughtful and intentional planning. The city is a designated International Dark Sky Community and the offers more than 270 acres of preserved park lands. A “district of innovation,” the Dripping Springs Independent School District is a major draw to the area due to its curriculum and high performance in virtually every area. The success of DSISD graduates is undeniable – the Class of 2019 seniors performed a cumulative 46,127 hours of community service and earned more than $5 million in scholarships. The Class of 2022 also boasted a graduation rate of 98.6%!

Adjacent to Austin and nestled in Texas Hill Country, Dripping Springs is positioned for continued growth and success. Both residents and businesses are proud to call Dripping Springs home, and work to embrace small town sensibilities and protect the unique culture as the city flourishes with expansion. A thriving destination tourism district completes the trifecta for a live-work-play quality of life in Dripping Springs.

City of Dripping Springs
Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce
Dripping Springs Economic Development Committee
Hays County
San Marcos downtown square
Population: 255,397
Fastest Growing County in U.S.: U.S. Census, Pop. over 100K

Hays County, the nation’s fastest-growing county and center of the Texas Innovation Corridor, is the southern-most portion of the Austin MSA. Hays County is a diverse area made up of unique natural assets, multiple workforce development institutions including Texas State University and Austin Community College, world-class shopping and wineries, the “Wedding Capital of Texas” and the “Pie Capital of Texas”, and a myriad of major employers.

Aerial view of I35 in Kyle
Population: 58,700
Under Development: 2.5 Million Square Feet
Population Growth in 10 years: 11.5

Kyle is strategically located along the I-35 corridor, between two Top Performing Cities in Texas. Just 7 miles south of Austin city limits and 39 miles north of San Antonio city limits, Kyle is in the enviable position along the booming corridor in the direct path of rapid growth. Within an extremely short period of time, Kyle has seen massive growth, investment and commitment from commercial businesses and developers. 

The City of Kyle is the nation's third fastest growing city with a population of over 50,000 and is poised to be the largest city in Hays County. Our population multiplied seven times over since the 2000 Census from 5,000 citizens to just over 56,500 in 2023. We maintain a small town value system including dedication, integrity and creativity to our residents and business communities. We strongly encourage you to begin or continue your Central Texas search here in Kyle.

City of Kyle
Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Bureau
Kyle Economic Development
Aerial view of the lockhart courthouse
Population: 14,844
Wage Growth: 35.9%
Median Home Price: $281k

Nestled between the two major hubs of Austin and San Antonio, Lockhart’s prime position in central Texas and its accessibility to major highways, intermodal transportation via the Union Pacific Railway, and international transportation outlets, including air and Texas’ deepwater ports, make us a great place to start, relocate or expand your business, as well as distribute goods on a regional, national and international scale.

Lockhart has experienced a substantial 14% job growth between 2010 and 2020, considerably higher than United States. Over the same time period, Lockhart has also seen rises in resident’s wages, with an increase of almost 36%.

The city's job and wage growth paired with some of the Austin region’s most affordable land costs and dedication to funding Lockhart’s growth through our Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which has included the addition of a new water tower, water lines, and further investments in local infrastructure, make Lockhart a great place for businesses to thrive and for residents to put down roots.

City of Lockhart
Lockhart Chamber of Commerce
Lockhart Economic Development Corporation
512-398-3461 ext. 233
Luling downtown businesses
Population U.S. Census: 5,518
Crossroads: I-10, US HWY183, US Hwy 90, Texas Hwy 80 & 86

The City of Luling is a rural Caldwell County community of just over 5,000 residents located along the San Marcos River at the intersection of Interstate Hwy. 10 and U.S. Hwy. 183, just 23 miles from Interstate Hwy. 35 in San Marcos. Luling has a historic economic base in agriculture and oil. The City is at the extreme southern edge of the Austin - San Marcos MSA, giving it a rural/urban juxtaposition offering the advantages of reasonable land and labor costs within an hour's drive of two major international airports, three regional airports, thirteen colleges and universities and the amenities associated with two of Texas' major metropolitan areas – San Antonio and Austin.

Luling is able to meet the corporate needs for sustainable human and natural resources at reasonable costs to prospective companies. The City can provide a home in a user-friendly atmosphere with immediate access to the decision makers, as well as a community eager to work to make your project a success. A quaint, but progressive town, Luling boasts a tremendous rural quality of life.

City of Luling
Luling Area Chamber of Commerce
Luling Economic Development Corporation
830-875-3214 ext. 4
San Marcos
San Marcos downtown businesses with sunset in background
Population U.S. Census: 68,580
7th Largest University in Texas: Texas State
Median Age U.S. Census: 25.1

Located at the gateway to the Texas Hill Country, San Marcos was recognized as the fastest growing city in the U.S from 2013 to 2015. It is midway between the two major metros of San Antonio and Austin. The spring-fed San Marcos River provides a refreshing playground for swimming, canoeing, tubing, and glass bottom boat rides at the Aquarena Center. San Marcos is the seat of Hays County and is home to Texas State University, the seventh-largest university in Texas and an Emerging Research University with more than 38,000 students. San Marcos also claims the most parkland per capita of any city in the Austin-Round Rock MSA. San Marcos attracts millions of domestic and international visitors to its outlet malls and is home to brand-name companies like Amazon, Best Buy, H-E-B and a host of innovative start-ups.

City of San Marcos
San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce
Uhland house
Population: 1,667
Cost of Living Index: 92.6

Uhland sits on top of the county lines of Hays to the west and Caldwell to the east, with Highway 21 utilized as its main road artery. Located in a growing area between IH35 and SH130, Uhland is about 11 miles from San Marcos, 20 miles from Austin, 164 miles from Houston and 220 miles from Dallas/Fort Worth. The City of Uhland currently holds no debt, and with a utility partner in County Line Special Utility District, the area is poised to handle what is coming its way. More than 3,600 acres are available in Caldwell Valley, and another 600+ acres are primed for development in Caldwell Ranch.

City of Uhland
Uhland Economic Development Corporation
Jacob's well in Wimberly
Population: 2877
Feet Above Sea Level: 1,000
Days of Sunshine: 300

Wimberley is in central Hays County between Austin and San Antonio, about 17 miles from San Marcos, 180 miles from Houston and 235 miles from Dallas/Fort Worth.  The drive to Wimberley from almost any direction is scenic and lovely. Ranch Road 12 from San Marcos or Dripping Springs, or the Devil's Backbone, Ranch Road 32 from Blanco, are each a relaxing drive in the country.  "Wimberley," or the Wimberley Valley, includes the incorporated City of Wimberley and the City of Woodcreek, as well as most of central and western Hays County. The center of Wimberley is situated at the confluence of Cypress Creek and the Blanco River, roughly 1,000 feet above sea level on the Edwards Plateau.

With a charming downtown Square, beautiful vistas, delightful boutiques, gourmet restaurants and renowned art galleries in additional to delicious wineries and breweries. Wimberley is a true destination City for visitors worldwide.

City of Wimberley
Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce