San Marcos Like a Local

Yakona Premieres at SXSW

March 20, 2014

The reviews are in for Yakona following the film's world premiere during the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. Festival attendees and members of the SXSW press have already begun to share their appreciation for the film which tells a visual narrative of the San Marcos River using footage captured along its banks and beneath its waters. Critical consensus has declared Yakona as a feast for the eyes. 

But never have I seen these things photographed so beautifully and dramatically, and never have I viewed them against an emotive score built around piano, guitar, and cello. It was captivating and exquisite, and gave me a new appreciation for the beauty of Texas’ natural places. -Lori Moffatt, Texas Highways Magazine 


Throughout we are given glimpses of the raw natural beauty of the wilderness, a Herzogian lack of sentimentality at the attempts of animals to survive in it, and a careful look at how the river remains central to the life of the people who live by it even in a disconnected age. - Bryce Wilson,


In addition to the positive reviews, Yakona received this year's SXSW Audience Award in the Visions category. Following a screening of the feature, members of the SXSW press were invited to take a glass-bottom boat tour of Spring Lake, headwaters of the San Marcos River. Attendees were able to get an up close and personal look at the crystal clear waters that inspired the film. 


The conference, the lines, the traffic… all drifted away, as we glided along the San Marcos River in a glass-bottom boat with directors Anlo Sepulveda and Paul Collins of Yakona to meet their darling starlet, a river with history and secrets in every ripple. -Kate X Messer, Austin Chronicle


Glass-bottom tours are offered year-round at The Meadows Center for the Water and the Environment, formerly Aquarena Center. Tours generally last about 30 minutes and guides provide detailed insights into the local ecosystem as well as the history of Spring Lake. Glass-bottom kayak tours are also available through advanced reservations. Visitors can learn more about the glass-bottom boat tours HERE or by calling (512) 245-7570. Visit to learn more about the film, read reviews and stay up-to-date on future screenings.