According to The Handbook of Texas, the "real-deal" Hill Country is the 25-county area west of Interstate 35 that’s defined by its hilly landscape of limestone outcroppings and granite boulders, covered by very thin soil that supports scrubbier, hardier plants like cedar and live oak trees as well as various varieties of cactus and yucca. The karst topography of easily eroded limestone also makes for an abundance of natural caverns and aquifers. 

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