Born and raised in Texas, Zach Roberts spent a lot of his time as a child in the Hill Country, located near his hometown of San Antonio, hiking, camping and “knockin’ around small towns.” Like many Texans, Zach has had a life of ordinarily Texan experiences full of duck hunting with close friends and taking day trips to Austin to witness the live music capital of the world at work. Although, like anything Texan, Roberts is anything but ordinary. From the outside he appears a rugged outdoorsman, spending his pastime fly fishing and working for a company that makes bullet-resistant material for security purposes. However, the age-old trope that looks can be deceiving definitely applies to Zach, who also has a creative, imaginative side.
Appreciation for life can be found in many unlikely sources, but for Roberts, marrying his thoughts to a melody is what allows him to successfully journey through the world. Writing music and creating art are for expressing the emotions he feels at certain phases in his life, while fly fishing allows him to immerse himself in the serenity of nature. Similar to Zach, it is Texas’ mixed bag of offerings that make it one-of-a-kind. Without the rolling plains and plateaus of the west or the sandy beaches that await on the southern coast, there would be no Texas. Equally, without his medley of interests, fly fishing and music, there would be no Zach Roberts.
“Years and years ago I would see pictures of guys just standing in waist-high water and that quintessential thing of ‘oh, that’s what it looks like to be at one with nature.’ It looks so peaceful but involved,” Roberts said. “You can sit on the banks of the river and take in all that’s around you, but take a step into the ecosystem of that place, too. I know it sounds cheesy but it’s cool to be involved with your surroundings in a way that’s going to clear your head.”
However, the time that Zach spends away from fly fishing proves he is not a one-trick pony. The side many people would not expect from Roberts is a softer one. If you remove the fly rod and the fishing line, you will find an artist – though many would argue fly fishing is an art itself.
“Whether it be writing music or drawing, I think a big thing that inspires that for me is setting up something for remembrance,” Zach said. “So, whether I’m going through a specific season or something...my favorite way to reflect on that is to make art out of it. That way, later on, I can turn to that art and find the soul of what that season meant rather than just words that have a melody to it.”
Whether he’s weaving his life experiences into ballads or catching a prize-winning fish, functionality in his clothing is fundamental for Roberts. The fickle weather that Texas is infamous for can oftentimes make it difficult to remain comfortable when venturing out into the landscape of the Lone Star State. For this reason, the Standard Denim is a staple in Zach's closet, as it allows him to put aside the gnawing discomfort that usually comes when out in the wild and focus on the sport instead.
“Honestly, even when we were trekking up the river doing some fishing, I was truly surprised by how comfortable the jeans stayed,” he said. “You know Texas can be cold one day and blazing hot the next. Or, if you’re driving across one state you might be wet in one place or dry and hot in another, and I think it’s great that you can have clothes that are going to stay comfortable while you’re doing that.”
Zach captures the encompassing spirit that is present in Texas’ 254 counties. From the stretch of endless barbed wire fences that populate west Texas to the metropolitan and polished sheen of the Austin music and art scene, Zach Roberts is Texas in many sense. His passion for the outdoors and the arts entwine to forge a personality that, like Texas, is incomparable and wide-ranging.
“It’s such a diverse place if you just enjoy being here and you embrace it and lend to the culture while embracing what’s already a part of the culture,” Roberts said. “Being present here today makes you a Texan. It reminds me of a song by Lyle Lovett, who’s a classic Texan musician, where he says ‘you’re not from Texas, but Texas wants you anyway,’ so everyone’s welcome to be a Texan.”
Photo Credit: Corey O'Connell
Story Credit: Ana Sierra