Bobcats produce children’s book and playing cards for love of San Marcos

Alumni Impact

Madigan Minihan | August 10, 2022

It's easy to fall in love with San Marcos, and Texas State students and alumni make that very evident. This summer, three Bobcats have released products that showcase what makes the town unique.

woman wearing large hat holding a book
Kelly Stone (B.S.' 00)

Kelly Stone (B.S.' 00) created her own children's book,  Goodnight San Marcos.  In the picture book, children are taken on a journey around town to say goodnight to all the people and places that make San Marcos unique. 

"My favorite San Marcos spot is hands down, the river. I even have it tattooed on my arm," Stone said.

Stone first visited San Marcos in 1994 to attend a cheerleading camp and returned two years later as a Texas State student. The idea for the book did not come until 2010 when Stone was visiting New Orleans. While on the trip, she purchased the book Goodnight NOLA for her sons. When she returned home she realized that there were not any children's books about the town she held so close to her heart. It became her mission. 

After 12 years, a Craigslist ad for an illustrator, and a lot of love from the community, Stone’s vision finally came to life. She is overwhelmed with the support for the book and is very proud that her dream has become a reality. 

"This is an incredible village we have here. I've felt the support since day one," she said.

two men holding playing cards
Creighton Coyne (B.B.A.' 22) & Luke Merchant

Creighton Coyne (B.B.A.' 22) and current student  Luke Merchant took a very creative approach to show their enthusiasm for this town. They have created a special set of San Marcos playing cards showcasing a signature person, place, or event on each card. 

Coyne and Merchant met in San Marcos while working as tour guides at Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park. Over time, they realized how much admiration they shared and knew this would be their passion project.

From the iconic Sewell Park to favorite food spots like Alvin Ord's Sandwich Shop, these cards carry so much nostalgia for every Bobcat. Some cards even showcase art painted by San Marcos resident Rene Perez.

"My favorite card would have to be Purgatory Creek as it's one of the most beautiful spots in town and a great way to get immersed in some beautiful nature," said Coyne. 

Creating this deck was no easy task. With a goal of $15,000, getting the funds needed for production was an uphill battle. To get the ball rolling, Merchant took out his life savings to put down a deposit and printed the first 400 decks. 

"Just do it. If you have a vision for something, just get started and go. There's really nothing holding you back besides barriers of doubt that we have built ourselves," Merchant said. "The community's response to the project has been so warm and supportive and has already made the year and a half's work so worth it."  

But with significant risk comes great reward. These cards, as well as Goodnight San Marcos, have been the talk of the town ever since their release.


For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922