San Marcos Like a Local

Wonder World Park

October 2, 2013

by Wes Ferguson, Community Impact SBK
photos by Ashley Landis

Buddy Mostyn has spent a lifetime exploring and operating San Marcos’ oldest tourism attraction—the earthquake-formed cave at Wonder World Park.
When he was a boy, his parents purchased the park and its main draw, the 93-foot-deep Wonder Cave. Mostyn took full advantage of the access, he said.

“I was a cave-crawling dude,” he said. “One time my parents forgot me at night. They were ready to go home and turned off the lights and left me there. I stayed there in absolute dark. It is spooky, believe me.”

It took about an hour before they realized they had left him in the cave.

“They ran back down here and turned on all the lights, and I came shooting out,” he said.

Wonder Cave formed during an earthquake an estimated 65 million years ago and has drawn millions of tourists since opening to the public in 1900.

Mostyn took over the family business in 1972 after graduating from Texas State University. He said the cave is known throughout the world because it is the only place where a person can travel underground to see the effects of an earthquake along a fault zone—in this case, the Balcones Fault where the Texas Hill Country jams into the Gulf Coastal Plains.

“You’ll get to see first-hand how the earth was ripped apart and big giant boulders caught in mid-air as they were falling,” he said. “When you study earthquakes and tectonic plate movements, there’s nothing better than seeing first-hand the actual result of an earthquake.”

Mostyn said Wonder Cave is the only commercial cave in Texas not formed by water erosion. The tour begins from a gift shop, descends into several narrow passageways and larger chasms where the air cools to 70 degrees year round, and ends at an elevator.

Wonder World Park is located at 1000 Prospect St in San Marcos, Hours of operation are Monday - Friday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

For more information, call 512-392-6711 or visit