San Antonio is approximately 75 miles (121 km) to the southwest of its neighboring city, Austin, the state capital, about 190 miles (310 km) west of Houston, and about 250 miles (400 km) south of the Dallas–Fort Worth area. The city has a total area of 465.4 square miles (1,205.4 km)—460.93 square miles (1,193.8 km) of which is land and 4.5 square miles (11.7 km) of which is water. The city's gently rolling terrain is dotted with oak trees, forested land, mesquite, and cacti. The Texas Hill Country reaches into the far northern portions of the city. San Antonio sits on the Balcones Escarpment. Its altitude is 650 feet (198 m) above sea level.
At the time of European encounter, Payaya Indians lived near the San Antonio River Valley in the San Pedro Springs area. They called the vicinity Yanaguana, meaning "refreshing waters". In 1691, a group of Spanish explorers and missionaries came upon the river and Payaya settlement on June 13, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua. They named the place and river "San Antonio" in his honor.
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