Driving a Chevrolet Impala, she fills up about once every 10 days at a cost of about $40 a tank. But she has watched that price rise.
“I just don't understand how it jumps so fast,” Ms. Walker, 40, said Tuesday.
AAA Texas spokeswoman Sarah Schimmer said gas prices statewide have risen daily for the past month and rose 19 cents between last week and this week.
The average regular gas price in Texas went up about 48 cents in the past month, according to GasBuddy.com.
The average Texas gas price on Tuesday was $3.60 per gallon. That's up from $3.41 per gallon last week, Ms. Schimmer said. A month ago, it was about $3.15, according to GasBuddy.com.
Nationally, the current average is $3.75 up from $3.60 last week, Ms. Schimmer said.
She said there are a couple of reasons for the increase and many of them are cyclical.
First. a lot of refineries in Texas and across the nation are operating at reduced capacity because portions are shut down for maintenance and safety reasons. This is something that happens about this time every year, Ms. Schimmer said.
Because the refineries are working at reduced capacity, that is going to temporarily affect supply, she said.
Second, about this time of year, refineries start producing the spring/summer gas blend.
This blend, which won't hit the market for a couple of weeks, is more expensive to produce and is designed to be a cleaner burning fuel which helps cut down on pollution during the hotter spring and summer months, Ms. Schimmer said.
Historically, gas prices peak in April or May before the Memorial Day weekend and summer driving season.
They decline week to week from there through fall and winter before starting to increase again in January and February, she said.
Within this annual pattern, though, there are still ups and downs much like a rollercoaster, she said.
Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com, had a slightly different take.
DeHaan attributed the price increase to an abundance of speculators in the market. With more demand, the price increases. So as the price of crude oil has gone up, gas prices followed.
“What we're seeing is a bit earlier than what we're used (to),” he said.
He said they're trying to figure out if this is the usual rally they see, but it's happening a few months early or if it's a different rally.
DeHaan said the national average for gas prices went up 40 cents in the past month and 12 cents since last week.
He said the national average could hit anywhere between $3.65 to $4.05 by April or May.
Ms. Schimmer said consumers often forget that oil is a global commodity with many variables affecting its price.
“So as more people are drawing on this limited resource, it's got to be priced according to global demand,” she said.
She said what her company sees is people continuing to travel and making adjustments in other items in their household budget, rather than adjusting gas or travel budgets.
And that seemed to hold true for some local drivers.
Chelsea Ware, 24, a teaching assistant at the Wayne D. Boshears Center for Exceptional Programs, said she has noticed the steady increase in gas prices, but she hasn't changed her driving behavior because of it.
She said she fills up about twice a week, and it costs her about $45 a tank. The one adjustment she makes is if she is heads out of town she tries to fill up at stations along Interstate 20 because she said, in her experience, gas is cheaper there than in town.
But overall, she keeps her routine.
“I know I need it, so I got to go pump,” she said.