The San Antonio Metropolitan Parole Complex, operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), is a testament to the city's rich history. In December 1835, Ben Milam led Texan forces to victory in the Battle of Bexar, capturing San Antonio from General Martín Perfecto de Cos, Santa Anna's brother-in-law. This event drew many Germans to the city in search of work, and many streets and buildings still bear German names such as Wurzbach, Huebner, Jones Maltsberger and Wiederstein. San Antonio is also home to four Fortune 500 companies and the South Texas Medical Center, the only provider of research and health care in the region. The natural vegetation of San Antonio (where it is not affected by development) includes oak and cedar forests, oak grassland savannas, chaparral thickets, and riverine forests.
The city also boasts a new attraction - Merlin's Sea Life aquarium located inside the Shops at Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio. By 1780, San Antonio had grown to become the largest Spanish settlement in Texas and was designated as the capital of the Spanish province of Texas. Today, annual events such as Fiesta San Antonio, Luminaria (a contemporary art festival) and Fiesta Noche del Rio bring a variety of entertainment options to the area and strengthen its economy. San Antonio has a population of around 2000 inhabitants, a mix of Spanish Mexicans, Native Americans from the missions, African-Americans and Canary Islanders. The smaller population of the metropolitan area has so far contributed to the lack of an NFL, MLB, NHL or MLS team.
Hearst Corporation bought the Express-News from News Corp., making it their second newspaper in San Antonio. City officials are said to be trying to permanently lure the National Football League to San Antonio. In 1731, Juan Leal Goraz led a group overland from Veracruz to the San Antonio de Béjar Presidio where they arrived on March 9th. On the northwest side are located the main campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center, and the northwest campus of the University of the Incarnate Word which includes the Rosenberg School of Optometry. The city is approximately 75 miles southwest of Austin (the state capital), 190 miles west of Houston and 250 miles south of Dallas-Fort Worth area.
According to the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, around 32 million tourists visit each year.