A riot late last month forced officials to close the Willacy County Correcitonal Center in Wallcy County, Texas. John Burnett/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John Burnett/NPR

A platform owned by Mexico's state-run oil company Pemex is seen off the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico. The country has recently opened up its energy sector to foreign investors. Victor Ruiz/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Victor Ruiz/Reuters/Landov

New Orleans bandleader John Moore chose his "Deacon" nickname at the suggestion of a mischievous drummer. At 73, he's one of the city's most beloved musicians. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Kathy Van Sluyters (left), Barbara Carr and Colleen Dickinson chat on a recently finished sidewalk across from Wildflower Terrace, a mixed-income apartment building in the Mueller development for people ages 55 and over. Julia Robinson for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Julia Robinson for NPR

Solar Sunflowers, an art installation, greets visitors to Mueller's commercial and retail hub off of Interstate 35. The panels power a nightly light display and return power to the grid. When the development is complete, five miles of granite trails will connect the residents to its commercial and retail hubs. Julia Robinson for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Julia Robinson for NPR

Tracy Perryman is production manager for his family's small oil company in Luling, Texas. B.J.P. Inc. owns 116 wells that, combined, produce about 100 barrels a day. John Burnett/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John Burnett/NPR

As an Army chaplain in Iraq, David Peters administered last rites and grieved with survivors. When he came home, he says, he "fell apart emotionally and spiritually." Courtesy of Robert K. Chambers hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Robert K. Chambers

Cuba is 90 miles away from the southernmost point in the United States, in Key West, Fla. "There used to be a ferry that ran between the two islands every day," says 89-year-old Gregorio Garcia, who emigrated in 1958. "I hope they operate it again someday." Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images