The view of the Rio Grande from Gerardo Vargas' property on Zapata County.

As part of his plan to build the border wall, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced it will provide the initial $250 million in state funds as a down payment.

Gerardo Vargas points toward the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, where he often sees people fishing.

Ruins of a settlement called Rancho Dolores, which dates to 1757, sit on Gerardo Vargas' property near the Rio Grande in Zapata County.