Zapata is a census-designated place (CDP) in and the county seat of Zapata County, Texas, United States. The population was 5,089 at the 2010 census. As an unincorporated community, Zapata has no municipal government but like all 254 Texas counties has four elected county commissioners chosen by single-member districts and a countywide elected administrative judge.
Zapata was named for José Antonio de Zapata (died 1839), the revolutionary commander who served in the cavalry of the Republic of the Rio Grande, of which the town was a part. The town was relocated to higher ground in 1953 prior to the completion of Falcon Dam, which left the original town center beneath the waters of Falcon Lake.