The actor hopes the influx of newcomers won’t alter his city’s quirky charm.

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While the coronavirus pandemic has sent people packing from most major cities, Austin is experiencing unprecedented growth. In fact, the influx of new residents sent housing prices soaring by more than 42% in just one year.

Proud Texan and longtime Austin resident Matthew McConaughey has noticed the change around him. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar-winner said it doesn't surprise him one bit.  

"I've been just waiting for the secret to get out," McConaughey said. "I'm excited for the growth. We're not going back. We don't have a landmark like Niagara Falls or Disney World or the Eiffel Tower. They're all coming for the vibe. We've got people."

But, like many of his neighbors, he's worried about how the newbies might impact the culture of the famously quirky city.

"What we have to watch in Austin is the preservation of our DNA," McConaughey told the publication. "I've talked to quite a few people before and since they came here, and the two words I hear over and over again are 'hospitality' and 'optimism.' So my line has been, 'Don't turn here into why you left there.' Our challenge is going to be how we handle this great influx. If any place has an identity in the soul that we need to preserve, it's Austin."

"The unwritten motto of Austin has been to Keep Austin Weird," he added. "The landscape has changed, but I hope that doesn't change. It's a cool spot. Hopefully it stays that way."

We hope so too, Matthew!