The River Always Wins: Water as a Metaphor for Hope and Progress


By David Marquis

A meditation on water as metaphor for social change, based on the author’s experiences as an environmental activist.

Publication Date: August 4, 2020

Paperback with flaps: 9781646050086

Hardcover: 9781646050529

eBook: 9781646050079



Environmental activist Davis Marquis meditates on movements in both society and nature in this exquisite and lyrical essay. In short, aphoristic chapters, Marquis explores the power of force and collectively through the metaphor of water.

As an activist, David Marquis founded the Oak Cliff Nature Preserve in Dallas and has consulted with the Texas Conservation Alliance since 2011.

Marquis brings an unerring belief in the connective and healing power of nature to The River Always Wins.

The River Always Wins is an arts-based project—book, music, video, stage, audio book, and visual—designed to inspire people to come together to create positive, lasting social change.”

—David Marquis


Additional information


Paperback, Hardcover, eBook


“‘Like a river flows surely to the sea’, goes a popular song about some things that are meant to be. Like hope, and love, springing forth from the human heart. This book is a moving testimony of a longing that lies deep in our hearts, inviting us to embody it our own lives, and gift it for the entire world.”
— Ruben L.F. Habito, Guiding Teacher, Maria Kannon Zen Center

“The timeliness of this book that reads with the rhythm of a musical composition is remarkable. The River Always Wins reminds us that just like the water in the river that is, we as humanity are becoming. Rising up and reborn as headwaters, collectively flowing through rapids, over sandbars and around fallen trees, we are, nevertheless, moving towards the greater good – shaping the rock and transforming hearts along the way.”
— Cynthia Seale, Trinity Waters

“With poignant examples and tender reflections drawn from a lifetime of social activism, David Marquis gives us a remarkable gift of a book. Following the course of a single drop of water from a river’s headwaters, Marquis charts a parallel course for social movements with grace and reverence. Part homily, part narrative poem, part meditation, and part memoir, The River Always Wins is a welcome spiritual field guide for social movement activists in these uncertain times.”
— Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian, Founder and Director, Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership

“An expert on water conservation and supply, David Marquis has created a work that is both instructive and entertaining. No spoiler alert that the river always wins.”
— Eric Nadel, Texas Rangers Radio Announcer, 2014 Ford C Frick Award Recipient

“Through beautiful prose and inspirational imagery, The River Always Wins is a testament to perseverance and the human spirit. It is a powerful reminder that despite hardships and setbacks, we can all continue to move our society forward, one drop at a time.”
— Diane Regas, CEO for The Trust for Public Land