a disco ball and stars

What Nightlife Looks Like for Students in San Marcos

By Stacey Ramirez
Web Content Contributor

Living in San Marcos as a college student means there are always options for wanting to go out. Maybe a friend is throwing a party, maybe there’s a concert at The Marc, or maybe you just want to go bar hopping around the Square. 

But other nights, maybe you’re in the mood to want to get away from San Marcos, and even then there’s still a way to do that too. I’m talking about the party buses to San Antonio and Austin. Between Thursday through Saturday nights, you can find these buses in front of The Grove or Copper Beech apartment complexes in San Marcos. 

These buses have been around for a while. The very first time I heard about them was from my sister who also attended Texas State and graduated back in 2016. I remember her telling me, “if you ever want to go to 6th Street but don’t have anyone to drive to Austin, take the party bus.”

Since most of us know a friend who’s ridden the party bus or a friend of a friend, we trust it’s normal to leave for Austin or San Antonio for a night. It’s interesting to see how it’s become a normal thing everyone just knows about.

It’s almost like a rite of passage as a Texas State student. It’s just a part of the nightlife culture in San Marcos. I think a lot of students have taken a ride on these buses at least once, and some maybe even every weekend.

They appear the same way the train does in The Polar Express. You just show up and they’re already there. For only $10 they take you up to downtown Austin on 6th Street for the night, or you can ride the one that takes you to Cowboys Dance Hall in San Antonio.

Cowboy boot on blue background
There are even ways of getting a bus to go to Cowboys Dance Hall in San Antonio. Image by Stacey Ramirez.

The buses don’t have a name on the side. Some of them are just renovated school buses and are repainted black on the outside while the inside are decked out in LED lights.

What goes on in these buses? Anything and everything. Dancing, singing, and occasionally everyone will sing “Happy Birthday” if there is a birthday. You make new friends even if it’s only for a few minutes. Music is playing which can either be from the driver or the first person to connect to Bluetooth. 

What you do on 6th Street is up to you; your only responsibility is making sure you get back to the bus by 2 a.m. Kind of like Cinderella, you have to be there by the right time because the bus will leave without you.

Then they drop you off in San Marcos, at the same location you were picked up at, and they’re gone. The street clears out while everyone waits for their ride home until it doesn’t look like it was full of four buses and a large crowd of college kids.

people aboard a bus in colorful lighting
Many use these buses as a way to travel outside San Marcos for entertainment. Photo by Stacey Ramirez.

Featured image by Stacey Ramirez.

3 thoughts on “What Nightlife Looks Like for Students in San Marcos

  1. Party of one. Everything’s closed in Texas. San Marcos is on country’s radar for high Covid cases especially 20-29 age group so find something else else to do.

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