This beautiful man-made lake was created in 1911-1913 as a reservoir, fed by Rio Medina and other small streams around the area, collecting water at the Medina Dam in the south-eastern section. The reservoir was built to supply irrigation water to surrounding farms and it is managed by three counties: Bexar, Medina, and Atascosa located northwest of San Antonio.
The lake became an attraction, and development around the lake flourished to accommodate recreational activities and tourists seeking ideal spots for fishing, boating, and other amenities. The image above shows the beauty of the lake merely 3 years ago.
Today, Medina Lake is the result of climate change and the severe drought that has befallen the area, and we were in awe as we explored the cliffs of what was once a lake over 1,000 feet deep. All we could do is imagine its beauty as we asked each other what happened? how is this possible?
As we drove around we asked the locals and the campers that been coming here for years, and it turns out this isn’t the first time this 18 mile long, 3 mile wide (at its widest) body of water sits mostly dry, with shrubs growing at the bottom. Although today Medina Lake is only at 6% of its capacity, it was at 5% in 2016 and it came back!
So when you find a waterfront and/or water view Lake Medina, TX, property on AirBnB, it simply means the owner is hoping that it will refill again. And while there are many beautiful homes tucked into the hills overlooking what used to be the lake, there are many businesses that didn’t survive the latest drought, a double whammy if you consider the last two years of a worldwide pandemic.