I realize this is an old thread someone bumped, but I have to question whether the OP is a troll if only due to his complaint about Austin weather. I could understand it from someone who moved there from, say, San Francisco, but South Carolina? It's nearly as big a swamp as Houston!
I may be the only person on DL who's lived in all three cities being discussed (Austin, Houston, Dallas), so allow me to discredit some of the bullshit being propagated about each. There is no "chemical smog" in Houston; that shit dissipated years ago, much like the smog in L.A. Houston and Dallas are equally pretentious in their own ways, and both are surrounded on two sides by wealthy, ultra-red suburbs (even while the urban cores of both cities are quite pleasant and surprisingly liberal). Traffic sucks in all three cities, and right now Dallas and Austin are worse than usual because of ongoing expansions on two major freeways (635 in Dallas, MoPac in Austin). Houston and Dallas both have surprisingly good arts scenes.
Housing prices in any of the three cities will seem cheap to anyone used to West or East Coast prices, but they're rising rapidly, particularly in Austin, and property taxes are insane (and will remain that way) because that's the price we have to pay to avoid a state income tax. I don't know the last time R30 was in Dallas, but I have *never* heard of police hassling gays in *any* of the three cities, though there was an incident last year in Fort Worth. Gays are abundant in all three cities, particularly in the neighborhoods near downtown. Montrose in Houston is one of the oldest "gayborhoods" in the country, and back in the '80s was fully 20% gay, but these days it's been gentrified and settled by breeders like most other gay American neighborhoods.
I don't see much point in arguing about the weather in each place: all three are horrifically hot and humid in the summer, with Houston being slightly more humid and Dallas being the hottest, but real Texans just stay indoors most of the time between May and October. Winters are noticeably different, however; Dallas is prone to awful snow and ice storms in particular, like the one last week that practically shut down the country's ATC system with delays through DFW. Houston compensates for its lack of freezing weather with lovely hurricanes every three or four years, though it's been about 12 years since the last direct hit with Allison (which left one of the main freeways under 20 feet of water - Houston is about as flat as New Orleans). Austin doesn't get hurricanes or ice (very often), but it's still stuck in a years-long drought that's left its area lakes practically shriveled down to nothing.
All three cities are remarkably segregated, with some neighborhoods in Houston and Dallas in particular being literally 100% black and/or Hispanic. I have no idea who's under the delusion that Hispanics are panhandling; almost without exception, panhandlers are white in Austin and black in Houston, and routinely found at high-traffic intersections near freeways. Finally: yes, Texas will likely go blue by 2020 or so, but unfortunately the GOP has managed to gerrymander the state to such an extent that both the state legislature and U.S. House reps from Texas will remain Republican for many years to come. (Statewide elections are another story, and at this point I wouldn't even count on Ted Cruz being reelected in 2018. Last year he won a fairly weak 56% of the vote against an incredibly weak Democrat contender.)