San Marcos really is the place to be. The vibrant colors, sounds, textures, flavors, and most importantly, people of San Marcos have created a unique local culture that you simply have to experience for yourself. Peruse our galleries and see what our local artists are up to. Go to an art market, meet the artists for yourself, and find a treasure (or two) to take home. Kick back with some local filmmakers and see what stories they bring to the screen. Laugh until there are tears in your beer from our hilarious comedians. Jam with local rockstars or relax at Texas State University with orchestra, opera, and more. Find the mermaids, a new favorite mural, and so much more here in San Marcos. We can’t wait to see what you find!

Singer performing at SMFest

Comedy and Live Music

There’s always something going on in San Marcos and you can bet you’ll find live music every night of the week. Legendary career-launching stages. Small hole-in-the-wall bars. Big two-story concert theater. Quaint coffee shop with local vibes. Just want a cold beer and a game of horseshoes? Maybe a quiet courtyard with the perfect margarita? How about a cool outdoor deck where your pup is welcome? An enchanting night with an orchestra? You got it! Whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s a venue in San Marcos that will hit just the right note. Check back here before your next San Marcos adventure for the weekly live music lineup. 

Of course, our nightlife has more than great tunes and cold beverages, San Marcos is home to an emerging performing arts scene with comedy, theater, spoken word, and more! Catch a comedy show in a San Marcos venue or venture to Wake The Dead on Tuesday from 7-10pm for the Laughing Dead Open Mic Night

Bright colored blown glass on wall

Galleries and Art Exhibits

Live music and art are two things San Marcos isn't short on. You'll find local pieces exhibited in most coffee shops and restaurants. But if you're looking to be surrounded by a large collection of local work, you'll want to check out our galleries. Each gallery has its own personality and vibe, and of course, lots on displey to view or buy.

Head to Wimberley Glassworks to see what magnificent pieces they've been hand-blowing in the hot shop. On Thursdays through Sundays from 10:30am-3pm you can even venture to the back to watch them hard at work. Make sure you look up as you enter the front door to see their incredible installation overhead. And speaking of glass, just down Ranch Road 12 the Silo Glass Gallery features more than two dozen Texas artists specializing in 3D art forms. Set next to a beautiful grotto with two relaxing waterfalls, Silo Glass is the largest purpose-built, warm glass studio in Central Texas. They also have classes and supplies for those ready to make their own glass creations. But wait, there's more! Visit River City Glassworks to see their stained glass studio gallery, buy supplies for your own pieces, or even take a hands-on class. Three glassworks studios, each with a very different craft and take on glass - we think you need to see for yourself! 

The San Marcos Art Center is a classic stop for art lovers. Located on the Downtown Square, the Art Center has gallery space with rotating featured exhibits and member artists and makers art and fine crafts for sale.

Photo of Tiny Garden Gallery

Housed in an old, beautiful church just two blocks from the Art Center, the Price Center is quite the hub of activity for arts of all kinds. While it always features local art and photography throughout the space, you can also find live performances of all kinds here. And, isn't their tiny outdoor gallery (pictured above) the cutest thing you've ever seen?

There are several galleries to explore on the Texas State University campus. Check out Texas State Galleries I & II for unbelievable student work. You’re sure to find fresh and unique pieces from the art scenes’ next heavy hitters. The Gallery of the Common Experience features work that follows the current year's Common Experience theme. In the past, these exhibits have included artwork meant to provoke thought on the definition of Chicano identity, photo depictions of apartheid South Africa during the onset of AIDS, and political cartoons of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. And, of course, The Wittliff Collections, located in the Alkek Library, is a collection celebrating; history, art, pop culture, music, and more. From Lonesome Dove props and Texas music memorabilia to King of the Hill archives and the largest archive of modern and contemporary Mexican photography in the United States - trust us, the Wittliff Collections is a must-visit. 

The Walkers' Gallery has been a staple in the San Marcos art scene for the past 26 years. Adorning the walls of the San Marcos Activity Center, The Walkers' Gallery got its name from the locals who use the long halls to stretch their legs. There are several exhibits rotating throughout the year and you can find work from artists of all stages of life and in different mediums revolving around one central theme. 

While you'll need to schedule a tour ahead of time to get a good look at the property, a list of local art galleries wouldn't be complete without the Eye of the Dog Art Center. Eye of the Dog Art Center has become a haven for local artists with their varying studio spaces to work, classes and workshops, and exhibition space. Sculpture, paintings, collages, ceramics, and so much more - Eye of the Dog regularly has exhibitions and art markets so keep your eyes peeled! 

Explore art exhibits in San Marcos, TX. From photography to traditional paintings, there's no shortage of beautiful work created by local artists.

Explore art exhibits in San Marcos, TX. From photography to traditional paintings, there's no shortage of beautiful work created by local artists.

A crowd enjoy a film at the Lost River Film Fest in San Marcos, Texas

Film Viewings and Screenings

Not only has San Marcos graced the big screen (we are always ready for our closeup) in some fantastic productions, but it’s also home to a community of esteemed filmmakers and film lovers! You can catch a First Tuesday film screening (on the first Tuesday of every month) at the Price Center. The films start at 7pm, and beer and pizza are available. With the featured film’s creators usually in the audience, you never know who you’ll meet at First Tuesday SMTX! Tickets are $5 at the door. You can learn more about October, November, and December viewings here. 

Of course, film buffs won’t want to miss the Lost River Film Fest! The film festival takes place in the fall (October 12-15, 2023) with screenings and unique events around Downtown San Marcos. This year, to celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of its theatrical release, opening night will feature a special viewing of The Getaway, which was filmed in San Marcos in 1972. There will be a garden party to follow the viewing.

Father and daughter pose in front of a mural of a mermaid.Murals and Sculptures

From murals that take up the whole side of a building to teeny tiny pieces hiding in plain sight - you never know what you’ll find exploring San Marcos. New art seems to pop up in the most unexpected places. Next time you stroll around the square, we suggest taking a shortcut through alleyways and behind buildings to find your new favorite piece. And no, you aren't seeing things, San Marcos is the Mermaid Capital of Texas and you can find ten 7-foot-tall mermaid statues, called the Mermaid March, located around town. Each one has been designed by a different artist, so you'll want to see them all. 

Make sure you stop at the Art Park for more really cool sculptures, including four new pieces that will be installed this year!  

Woman holding up her finds at Art Squared and the Farmers Market in Downtown San Marcos

Art Markets and Creative Pop-Ups

Ah, art markets – one of our favorite things to do on a sunny weekend afternoon. Nothing beats strolling from booth to booth to peruse unique art, handcrafted goods, and lots of cool finds. 

Art Squared Jun 08

Art Squared Arts Market is a juried arts and fine crafts market that brings the best local artists together in one place. You'll find great art of all kinds, live music, free kid's arts and crafts booth, live art demonstrations and more.

Martian Culture Jun 09
  • Recurring monthly on the 2nd Sunday

Martian Culture is a celebration of all things San Marcos. This event will feature live painters and artists, live DJ, special performances, original artwork, prints and hand crafted goods. 21+ 8:00pm.