NEW YORK TIMES – On long stretches of the Southwest border, a clearly visible boundary separates the United States and Mexico. In parts of Southern California and in the Arizona desert, it takes the shape of a wall running right along the line, with one country on each side.

But in South Texas, things get fuzzy. The border there, by tradition and international treaty, is the Rio Grande, and no one has yet figured out how to build a border wall in the middle of a river. As a result, the fence that elsewhere would trace the southern edge of the United States can run, as it does in Mr. Veloz’s neighborhood, more than a mile north of the river.

That has created an oddly isolated zone of homes, ranchland, industrial sites and nature preserves that locals call a no man’s land, between the barrier and the border — a place that dozens of Texans call home.

Editor’s Note: New York Times reporter Manny Fernandez is based in the Rio Grande Valley. Click here to read his latest news story.