As a remote Texas city it became one of the fastest growing cities in the United States

In a visible sign of the boom, permits to build new homes topped 1,400 last year, a record for the city, said Jeff Jewell, the city’s director of economic and community development. More than 10,000 single-family homes have been added in the past 11 years and property values ​​have also skyrocketed, with an average home value rising 73% over the past decade, from $ 157,000 to $ 272,000.

But there was a time when life was much quieter in New Braunfels.

“I still remember when they were nothing more than cows,” said Brittney Marbach, who at 25 no longer recognizes the city where she grew up. “A lot of things have changed. We are losing our small town atmosphere.”

German settlers, captivated by green spaces and the convergence of the Guadalupe and Comal rivers, founded the city in 1845. Legend has it that the region remembered in his old home in Braunfels Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, the leader of the settlers. , Germany. So he decided to buy an area of ​​land and call it New Braunfels, near where Native Americans thrived by the water’s edge.

The city’s German roots are everywhere. The state’s oldest pastry shop, Naegelin’s Bakery, still thrives in the center (an area that local residents call Circle), with a steady stream of customers, many of them newcomers and tourists claiming the store’s pastry shop, the apple strudel.

“Growth has been fantastic for businesses,” said Ross Granzin, who now owns the bakery that was founded in 1868.

Other iconic German venues include the Neoclassical Music Beach and Gruene Hall, an iconic, outdoor dance floor that has appeared in movies and books and has featured prominent musicians such as George Strait, Garth Brooks and Brandi Carlile.

At night, crowds still descend on existing garden gardens for decades, joined by newer bars and restaurants that look like something you’d find in Austin or San Antonio.