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Texas symbol exhibit at Falls on the Colorado goes through April

Nancy Ebeling of Marble Falls

Nancy Ebeling of Marble Falls painted 18 state symbols for a Texas Independence Day exhibit at The Falls on the Colorado Museum, 2001 Broadway in Marble Falls. The exhibit will be up through the month of April. Courtesy photo

A new exhibit of state symbols at The Falls on the Colorado Museum in Marble Falls celebrates Texas Independence Day, which is March 2. The exhibit, which will be up through the end of April, features watercolors of 18 of the state’s more than 300 symbols along with some of the museum’s own historic artifacts to spice things up a bit (state pepper: jalapeño). 

The watercolors were painted by a local artist who is a historic figure in her own right: Nancy Ebeling, who lives in the Ebeling House in Marble Falls’ historic district. The lavender Victorian home originally belonged to her great-great-uncle Otto Ebeling. 

“My family came here in 1854, actually some even earlier,” Ebeling said. “I’m about as Texas as you can get.”

The state was declared a republic on March 2, 1836, when 59 settlers in Mexican Texas signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.

A retired teacher, Ebeling has been painting in oils for years. She was asked to paint the exhibit’s state symbols in watercolors.

“So I learned how to paint with watercolors,” she said, adding that the symbols she chose to paint were “what interested me.” 

That includes the prickly pear, the state plant, which is in a display with an old-fashioned “pear burner,” a device used to burn the spines off of the cactus so livestock can feed on them. 

The collection also includes an armadillo (state small mammal), horned toad (reptile), monarch butterfly (insect), pecans (tree), mockingbird (bird), bluebonnet (flower), and a left-handed lightning whelk (shell), to name a few. 

The museum at 2001 Broadway in Marble Falls is open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Call 830-798-2157 or visit its website for more information.