ROCKDALE, Texas — If a picture is worth a thousand words then folks in Rockdale have a lot to talk about.
There are now five new murals sprinkled around town.
"They do have a way of helping lift up the atmosphere and just a general vibe and feel of the community," said Dave Melton, founder of Rockdale Earth Day.
The group was founded seven years ago with the goal of cleaning up and beautifying the town. Every year on Earth Day they complete a new project and this year Melton said they wanted to bring art to community walls.
After 9 months of fundraising, and a matching donation from the Rockdale Municipal Development District, the group was able to commission well-known muralist Sam Welty to complete the project.
"A friend of mine said, 'Nine months, this is almost like a birth thing,' and it has been," Melton said.
You can find Welty's signature mural piece on the side of the Rockdale Municipal Development District's building. It features a scene of cattle being herded by a cowboy -- a tribute to the El Camino Real De Los Tejas National Historic Trail that runs through Milam County.
"It’s been well received by everybody in the town who has come by to see us or who has reacted to post that we have shared on social media," Melton said.
But what makes this project special is how the town came together to make it happen.
About 12 restaurants fed Welty and he was put up at the Rainbow Motel, a local historic hotel, for free during his stay. Other businesses stepped in to provide other free services as well.
"Rockdale as a community has been so wonderful and welcoming me here and I get the feeling that this is just the start of a lot of different things, a lot of cool projects that they are going to take on," Welty said.
Aside from the signature mural, you can also find an American flag mural at Veterans Memorial Park. Students from Rockdale High School helped Welty complete that mural.
There are also three other murals that feature a Tiger, Rockdale High's Mascot, with the words #BeRockdaleProud at the bottom.