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NH ME TEXAS

LUXURY LIVING

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DESIGNS

A Timelessly Texan Builder

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HOME IDEAS

TODD GLOWKA FALL 2012

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R E A L E S TAT E

LONE STAR HOLIDAYS

STATE-OF-THE-ART SOPHISTICATION AUTO-LAD

{ AT HOME WITH Sean and Claudia Elliott }

fall 2012 / NHOME /

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/ NHOME / fall 2012


The Perfect Gift.

experience

Voted Best Spa — San Antonio Magazine Readers — San Antonio Express News Readers — 2012 Awarded Top Workplace in San Antonio

the woodhouse—riverwalk the hotel contessa - 210.298.8038 the westin hotel - 210.444.6170 san antonio, tx 78205

the woodhouse—quarry market 255 e. basse rd. san antonio, tx 78209 210.822.8800

the woodhouse—the rim 17503 la cantera parkway san antonio, tx 78257 210.699.6500

the woodhouse gift card - print online today! SanAntonio.WoodhouseSpas.com tx lic. #s-- quarry - me0985, rim - me1623, contessa - me2139, westin - me2138

fall 2012 / NHOME /

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Luxury home-based business for today’s entrepreneur.

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www.karessed.com/nhome 210.340.6300 / NHOME / fall 2012


Style is our pedigree. Comfort, timeless beauty and irresistible style de ne a Sitterle Home. Our spacious oor plans are just the beginning. Add uncompromised quality, exceptional amenities, all nestled in impressive communities and your client is guaranteed the best homeowner experience they can imagine. Introduce them to their dream home.

Sales Event 4

A bonus for you and man’s best friend. We have some incredible move-in specials, but right now Sitterle Homes is offering a special bonus. There are hundreds of dogs and cats in San Antonio that need a home. To help solve this problem, we will donate $250 each to the San Antonio Humane Society and the Animal Defense League in your name when you purchase a Sitterle Home.

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ROGER’S R ANCH STONE OAK / CANYON SPRINGS CIBOLO CANYONS NORTH SAN ANTONIO

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IH-10 CORRIDOR INSIDE THE LOOP HELOTES WEST SAN ANTONIO

*18602 Canoe Brook, 18522 Canoe Brook, 19026 Salado Canyon, 10419 Springcroft, and 10410 Springcroft. $5,000 bonus to Realtor plus 3% commission on the completed homes. Applies to those listed above. Cannot be combined with any other incentives. Subject to change without notice. Only ‘Move-In Ready Homes’ listed above apply to promotion. Homes must close within 30 days upon completion. Gift awarded after closing verifi cation. Featured promotion subject to cancellation, extension, and/or change at anytime without notice. Plans, prices, availability and specifications are subject to change without notice. 2012 Sitterle Homes. 9.17.12

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Roger’s Ranch Parkway

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You get an amazing new home, and a deserving dog or cat gets a chance at a new life. 1 2 3 4

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– Visit SitterleSalesEvent.com for more information – fall 2012 / NHOME /

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“Experience Living - Outdoors.”

We are located off the Southbound Frontage Rd. Btwn Bitters & Nakoma

SUMMER is here! Time for grilling, lounging and overall enjoyment of your outdoor escape! All grills we carry are made in the USA and of the highest quality. The Smoker by Primo is available & ready for you to take home today! Come by our showroom & check out all we have to offer!

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210-276-0734 / NHOME / fall 2012

www.cozyoutdoorescapes.com


fall 2012 texas nhome magazine

28 custom homes

features

NHOME Builder Spotlight: Todd Glowka Always focused on quality and uniqueness, this master builder has treated discriminating buyers in the Hill Country and surrounding areas to “eclectically Texas” beauty for the last decade-and-a-half.

38 custom homes

Power House: At Home With Sean and Claudia Elliott From its private location and intimate indoor spaces to its picturesque landscape and wealth of stylistic influences, the star couple’s dream home is an authentic Alamo City masterpiece.

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54 technology

Auto-Lad: A Twist on a Tradition

A refreshing take on the conventional ladder, the state-of-theart electronic system brought to you by eLAIR ENTERPRISES makes accessing your attic space safer and easier than ever.

72 great escapes

Lone Star Holidays: A Guide

From the Hill Country holiday wine trail to the luminous festivities on the San Antonio River Walk, there's something for the whole family to enjoy in our list of luxurious seasonal activities and getaways in South and Central Texas.

fall 2012 / NHOME /

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38 34

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nhome staff

72 executive editor Erin O’Brien erin@getnside.com

in this issue 10 A Note From the Publisher 14 Contributors 16 Advisory Board

Great Escapes

Dining

82 Boerne: A Hub of

24 Eat Up 26 Happy and Healthy Holidays

Industry Insights

78 A Resort for All Seasons

Arts & Culture

84 Voices of the Professionals

34 Hill Country Holidays

Finance

44 No Boundaries 50 Holiday Gift Ideas

Green 52 Step Up to Solar, Part II

88 Mortgage Interest Rates

Events 90 GSABA September Mixer 92 Platinum Top 50 94 Upcoming Holiday Events

Real Estate 60 Outside the Box on the cover:

Todd Glowka Builder, Inc.

photography: Jason Roberts

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/ NHOME / fall 2012

Elisa Giordano elisa@getnside.com

Artistic Excellence

Custom Homes Home Decorating Ideas

creative director

intern

Christine Nguyen


on the cover

Custom builder Todd Glowka works to provide each of

his clients with a special and superior luxury home – one he would be proud to live in himself. 2012 Summit Awards Winner: Best Website, Builder – Custom Best Landscape Design – Residential Best Interior Design/Merchandising – Custom 160,001-200,000

Todd Glowka is definitely one of our favorite builders, and all of the designers at Catrina’s Ranch Interiors love to work on his projects. He just “gets it,” and he shares our passion for eclectic Hill Country decorating and elegant ranch design. He is a regular at Catrina’s at the Ranch, my furniture store at 31300 IH-10 W in Boerne, Texas. Catrina’s at the Ranch has won many design awards in the Parade of Homes and the GSABA Summit Awards. Glowka has won a few himself! We had a great time decorating this amazing ranch home, and getting to decorate it for Christmas was a blast! Catrina’s offers full interior design services, including decorating your home for the holidays.

Interior Home Designs by: catrina's at the ranch / photography: jason roberts holiday lighting by: elite lighting designs fall 2012 / NHOME /

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// a note from the publisher //

H

as it really been a year? This is pretty much what clients and friends of NHOME continue to ask as they receive the invitation for our first anniversary celebration! Many clients and readers have made enthusiastic comments and expressed satisfaction with the results of our efforts this year. Thank you to all of our clients, readers, photographers and writers in San Antonio and beyond. Much appreciation is also given to our staff and our board members for their passion in our success. This continued support keeps our adrenaline high. And celebrating our first year during my favorite season makes it even more joyful. This anniversary issue promotes the pride of living in Texas. Follow us to the ranch home built by Todd Glowka. There are not many states with land space where one can still build on a 200-plus-acre lot and live in a town with less than 50 people.  For a person like myself who grew up in a populated city, visiting a ranch was refreshing, and it gave me more appreciation for the nature, peace and tranquility often found in many areas of the Lone Star State – even in developments with smaller acreage where you would never imagine you could enjoy such peace and quiet right in your own backyard. In this issue, you can also follow NHOME to the house that one of the city’s favorite power couples has enjoyed for several years. Retired San Antonio Spurs player Sean Elliott and his wife, Claudia Zapata-Elliott, allowed us to tour and share their beautiful San Miguel de Allende, Mexico-inspired domain with you. The perfect-for-entertaining home has an amazingly calm and relaxing backyard that will make you never want to leave its boundaries.  No plans to travel out of state for the holidays? Well, you’re in for a treat! Read about NHOME’s suggestions for great local and nearby places where you can stay, play and dine.  Whether you decide to stay in town or drive to a close destination, stop at one of the restaurants on our list of recommendations and taste some of the greatest dishes ever! And write to me after your meal. I would love to know who served your favorite and left you wanting to return. In addition to reading all of the great articles in our anniversary issue and buying your holiday gifts, whether you stay local or travel far away, make time to enjoy quality time with the people who really matter in your life this holiday season. You will find it endearing and anchoring to spend family time enjoying good conversations, eating good food and singing songs together. Remind yourself that the memories created with family and friends will last a lifetime. Most of all: Do the things that keep your spirits high.  From NHOME to your home, Happy Holidays!

Adaku Okoro, publisher adaku@nhometx.com

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/ NHOME / fall 2012


JASON GLAST LUXURY REAL ESTATE FALL PREVIEW

Terrell Hills

Greystone Country Estates

Terrell Hills

Dominion

Dominion

Greystone Country Estates

Terrell Hills

Dominion

Anaqua Springs Ranch

Elm Creek

Shavano Creek

Dominion

Bluffview

Alamo Heights

Terrell Hills

Jason Glast Realtor® / Attorney San Antonio’s Top Realtor in Gross Sales since 2009

JASONGLAST.COM

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JASON@JASONGLAST.COM

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210.386.1833 fall 2012 / NHOME /

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The Graves Group NH ME texas

T he art of luxury real estate

European chic Country casual The Bristow at –Hill Upper Balcones Fair Oaks Ranch masterpiece priced at $1.175 million

fall 2012

publisher

Adaku Okoro

by Casadomaine Custom Homes

executive editor Erin O’Brien

creative director Elisa Giordano

contributing writers Yadira Acevedo Liz Braden Easton Crafts Gabriel Diego Delgado Cynthia Green Rita Zenzen Heck Mary Olivar Crystal L. Ragsdale Amanda Salerno Cori Smelker

contributing photographers Erin Clarkson Jason Roberts

editorial intern Chinyere A. Okoro

intern

Christine Nguyen Anabelle Rodriguez

Fabulous Hill Country lifestyle opportunities starting from the $500,000s

Gustavao Arredondo designed this 4.5 acre gated and fenced estate with the very best Contact Denise Graves 210-260-2176 for more information of everything the Hill Country has to offer! Outstanding equestrian facilities plus pool, spa, and a climate controlled winean cellarartform with capacitysince for more1991 than 1000 bottles. Making Real estate Contact Denise Graves 210-260-2176 for more information Successful real estate marketing is an artform that requires skilled negotiation and the Making Real estate an artform since 1991 delicate art of matching the right buyer to the right property. We’ve been masters Successful marketing an artformsince that requires skilled and Phyllis the delicate art of the finereal artestate of real estate ismarketing 1991. We arenegotiation part of the Brownof matching the right buyer to the right property. We’ve been masters of the fine art of real estate ing Company, offering The Very Best, since 1989. Call or visit our website and put our marketing since 1991. We are part of the Phyllis Browning Company, offering The Very Best since artistic touch to work for you! 1989. Call or visit our website and put our artistic touch to work for you! Use your smartphone to

Use smartphone scanyour the QR code or gototo: scan the QR code or go to: www.TheGravesGroup. www.TheGravesGroup. com to view more fine com toproperties view more properties in fine San Antonio, inBoerne San Antonio, Boerne and the Hill and the Hill Country. Country.

@

The Graves Group

San Antonio, Boerne and the Hill Country I 210-408-4053 I www.thegravesgroup.com

San Antonio Business Journal Top 3 Real Estate Sales Team! 1 22012 / NHOME / fall 2012

www.nhometx.com For advertising information, please call 210.568.9688 or email info@nhometx.com. For editorial comments and suggestions, please email info@nhometx.com. to reach us: 18402 U.S. Highway 281 N, Ste. 201 San Antonio, Texas 78259 Phone: 210.568.9688 Fax: 210.568.6630 Copyright © by Texas NHOME Magazine Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited.


C U S T O M

H O M E S

The principals at Prodigy Custom Homes have provided their signature, attesting to the highest level of quality and craftsmanship. The enthusiasm and pledge behind our company is to provide our client with the optimum home that satisfies their lifestyle needs. With over 25 years experience in the building industry and a passion for building, we are making dreams come true for discerning home buyers in the San Antonio, Texas and surrounding areas. Prodigy Custom Homes is dedicated to building quality custom homes at an affordable price. With a passion to build more than just a quality home, Prodigy custom homes are a synergy of architecture, artistry and custom craftsmanship. Our mission is to provide comfort, practicality and warm places for families to grow and celebrate life. We pride ourselves in going beyond your expectations. We invite you to see for yourself the quality, integrity and performance characteristics that are the hallmarks of our craftsmanship. Share your dream with us and we will build it.

210.362.4942

www.ProdigyCustomHomes.com fall 2012 / NHOME /

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// contributors //

Crystal L. Ragsdale

Cori Smelker

Amanda Salerno

Mary Olivar

Kelly Hamilton

Liz Braden

rita zenzen heck

Cynthia Green

Amanda Salerno recently graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a B.A. in English and now works as a marketing coordinator in Boerne. She also dabbles in freelance writing on the side to stay connected with her biggest passion: writing. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time outdoors and as a Philadelphia native, rooting for the Eagles.

With more than a decade of experience in nutrition and cooking with whole foods, Mary Olivar is a passionate advocate of healthy eating and good food. Her love of food also extends to the kitchen, where she has worked as a personal and professional chef specializing in plant-based and raw foods, as well as special diets. When not at Whole Foods Market helping others find healthy foods and learn how to deliciously prepare them, Olivar is usually at home having culinary adventures of her own, keeping her three hungry children and husband fed.

Longtime San Antonio resident Kelly Hamilton is a full-time writer for NSIDE Publications and the editor of NFit magazine. A graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio with a B.A. in English, as well as graduate studies in adult education from the University of the Incarnate Word, she is also a licensed realtor, an avid reader, an animal lover and a 500-hour RYT yoga instructor. A true Texas girl at heart, she spends her downtime cooking at her home for friends and cheering on the Spurs and the Longhorns.

Nelson Enochs

Crystal L. Ragsdale is a 1997 graduate of UTSA. She has spent her entire professional career in local media and writes leisurely for NHOME Texas. She is a founding board member of the Woodlawn Theatre, and an active committee chairperson for multiple organizations. Her spare time is rare, as she is proudly the mother of two well-accomplished little girls in their own trades.

Cori Smelker is the wife of one, mother of five and grandmother to a delightful 4-year-old. A multicultural gal, she has lived on three continents and in several countries. Smelker has been published in many local and regional papers and magazines, and featured in several anthologies. When not at her computer, she can be found out and about San Antonio, enjoying everything the city has to offer.  

easton crafts

Easton Crafts is the CEO of Directions Equity, LLC. He has been in the mortgage industry since 1995, and in that time, he has closed thousands of loan transactions of all types, including Conventional, FHA, VA, Texas Vet, USDA, Jumbo and Construction Loans. He cofounded Directions Equity in 2007, along with his business partner Marc Spitzer, and together they have helped the company increase production more than 20 percent per year since its inception. Easton holds a degree in business administration with a concentration in real estate finance and mortgage lending. He is a member of the Texas Association of Mortgage Professionals and the San Antonio North Chamber.

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Gabriel Diego Delgado

Gabriel Diego Delgado is an art consultant at J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art. He has spent almost a decade in nonprofit art management, serving as a curator of exhibitions at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art; the project manager of research and development at the Museo Alameda (a Smithsonian affiliate); the community outreach/communications director for an art and education nonprofit; and a working professional artist. He is a freelance curator and arts reviewer for several publications. His artwork has been shown in Arco 2012 (Madrid, Spain), New York, New York and MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) D.C., as well as numerous galleries and venues.

Liz Braden’s outgoing personality and creativity generate a positive and productive experience with her clients’ real estate transactions. She gets the job done, and the results are outstanding. Braden’s accounting degree and background allow a focus on details and keen negotiating skills. She is also a native San Antonian who has developed a strong client base and personal relationships with some of the city’s finest residents. She worked property management for numerous years through college and has gained a sense and formula to list homes that subsequently sells them. Braden also has a good understanding of real estate investments and developments, and she enjoys working closely with clients who have projects of this magnitude. She is a board member of Women in Medicine and Law for the Cure, which allows her more community time and support to the city and great causes.

In her hometown of Chicago, Rita Zenzen Heck was a newspaper and magazine editor and TV copywriter. She currently lives in San Antonio and volunteers with the Majestic Theatre, the San Antonio Sports Association, the San Antonio Conservation Society, the San Antonio Council for International Visitors and the San Antonio Downtown Residents Association. Heck has worked for Stars and Stripes, Overseas Weekly and Made In Europe magazine, as well as in advertising and PR, before opening her own Creative Overflow. She added The Green Connection in 1995, also producing green building showcases and her own green building and education magazine and events. Since 1995, she has hosted and produced The Green Connection television show on digital cable channel 20, which airs Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Cynthia Green is an avid poetry and short story writer who was born and raised right there in San Antonio, Texas. She attended grammar, undergraduate and graduate school in the Alamo city. A very sentimental story surrounds her discovery and now fuels her love for writing. Writing wasn’t really a consideration of hers until her grandmother died in the spring of 1999 and she was asked to write a sentiment for the funeral. She wrote and read a poem, and the rest is history. Her love for writing has led her to write many poems for many occasions. One poem was even distributed to orphaned children in Africa while her church was on a missionary trip. She is a wife and proud mother of three children.


OF DIAMANTE’S UNIQUE DESIGN/BUILD PROCESS

From the low 400’s to over 4 Million+ 210.341.6430

WWW.DIAMANTEHOMES.COM/NHOME fall 2012 / NHOME /

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Nelson Enochs

// advisory board //

denise graves

Rev. Dr. Claudette Copeland has served in a variety of ministry settings, including the Hospital Chaplaincy and the Mission Field (in Haiti, South Africa, West Africa and East Africa), and is a former member of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Copeland is a founding co-convener of the Women in Ministry Training Conference, serving aspiring and active women ministers in all seasons of their journey. She is married to the Bishop David Michael Copeland. She serves with her husband as executive pastor of the New Creation Christian Fellowship Church, a thriving nondenominational church in Windcrest, Texas, just outside San Antonio. Copeland also has a passion and appreciation for beautiful homes and exquisite décor.

easton crafts

Gabriel Diego Delgado

Easton Crafts is the CEO of Directions Equity, LLC. He has been in the mortgage industry since 1995, and in that time, he has closed thousands of loan transactions of all types, including Conventional, FHA, VA, Texas Vet, USDA, Jumbo and Construction Loans. He co-founded Directions Equity in 2007, along with his business partner Marc Spitzer, and together they have helped the company increase production more than 20 percent per year since its inception. Easton holds a degree in business administration with a concentration in real estate finance and mortgage lending. He is a member of the Texas Association of Mortgage Professionals and the San Antonio North Chamber.

Gabriel Diego Delgado is an art consultant at J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art. He has spent almost a decade in nonprofit art management, serving as a curator of exhibitions at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art; the project manager of research and development at the Museo Alameda (a Smithsonian affiliate); the community outreach/communications director for an art and education nonprofit; and a working professional artist. He is a freelance curator and arts reviewer for several publications. His artwork has been shown in Arco 2012 (Madrid, Spain), New York, New York and MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) D.C., as well as numerous galleries and venues.

Nelson Enochs

A realtor and real estate business owner since 1991, Denise Graves started the Graves Group in 2003 with the vision to offer extraordinary service to her clients, both locally and globally. The Graves Group has been in the Top 25 Real Estate Teams (SABJ) since 2005 and continues to set the standard for real estate in San Antonio and the Hill Country. With her 20-plus years of real estate experience in the area and her business mantra of “high tech, high touch,” Graves makes her properties stand out and keeps clients coming back.

Rev. Dr. Claudette Copeland

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jason glast

kristal powell

adam sanchez

paulette jemel

Jason Glast is a realtor and attorney who specializes in marketing the most gorgeous homes in the San Antonio area. According to the San Antonio Business Journal, no real estate pro has sold more than Glast since 2009. Glast’s “PX3” system works to bring his clients a top price in the fewest number of days possible in a stress-free environment.

Kristal Powell is the co-founder of CKC Custom Homes who serves as the driving force behind the beauty and elegance that is evident in the company’s finished homes. She uses a hands-on approach, personally assisting clients in the selection of paint, tile, cabinets and all aspects of design. Much of CKC’s success can be attributed to Powell’s passion for perfecting the unique style of CKC Custom Homes.

Adam Sanchez founded Diamante Custom Homes in 1992. Early work included remodeling and addition projects. The scope of projects increased significantly through the years, and Diamante Custom Homes is now firmly rooted in the luxury home market. This “different by design” builder now completes custom homes ranging from the low $300s to more than $4 million, and has been the recipient of numerous Parade of Homes and Summit awards.

Paulette Jemel, accredited luxury home specialist and stager, is currently an agent for KW Luxury International at the Dominion. With a degree in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, she has worked as a writer and producer for Telemundo and Hispanic advertising agencies. Jemel is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian and English.

/ NHOME / fall 2012


special advertising section

DI N E NHOME

G ive y our k itchen a bre a k tonight a n d d ine with us

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// advisory board // belinda vela-reyna Belinda Vela-Reyna is originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master of Science degree in Educational Guidance and Counseling from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. She retired from an 11-year career as a U.S. probation officer for the Western District of Texas San Antonio Division to stay home with her two beautiful daughters, Alexandria and Mia. She also has two amazing stepchildren, Danielle and John, and a wonderful husband. She has always had a passion for design, and she recently enjoyed renovating her new home with the help of Trent Hultgren.

barry denton As the director of real estate sales at Cordillera Ranch, Barry Denton is dedicated to creating an environment where people work together to consistently exceed goals. Prior to joining Cordillera Ranch, he worked for Bluegreen Communities, starting as a sales consultant in 2000 and ultimately becoming the South Texas regional sales director in 2009. Denton also has a background in teaching and in the golf business, and he remains a member of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, he has been a licensed real estate agent since 1991 and a licensed broker since 2005.

dale ponder Dale Ponder is the owner and operator of Cozy Outdoor Escapes, an outdoor living retail center focusing on customer service and high-end equipment. His career started in the electrical trades, where he held various positions in a large, non-union shop in San Antonio, where he was raised. He later entered the international market, project managing the construction of drug interdiction radar sites throughout South and Central America and owning and operating a telecommunication construction service company in Caracas, Venezuela. Ponder left the business in 2010 to pursue his passion for the outdoor living retail sector. He developed a business plan, and Cozy Outdoor Escapes opened to the public in March 2011.

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t he

bar

a t

boh

a n a n

’ s.

A New Bar With An Old Tradition. An elegantly appointed Old World bar where cordial

Like the great old bars of the past, we dispense classic

bartenders practice their venerable art behind a

cocktails, exotic beverages and good cheer in a

46-foot bar of reverently polished cherrywood. The

civilized setting. Join us for drinks and hors d’oeuvres,

cheerful clinking of glasses punctuates the rich notes

then come upstairs to Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and

of the baby grand piano.

Seafood for the best steak you’ve ever had.

(210) 472 - 22 0 2

# 221 East Houston Street San Antonio, Texas

www . boh a n a ns . com

C e l e b r at e w i t h u s — t h e b a r i s o p e n !

fall 2012 / NHOME /

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Your Favorite Italian Trattoria Piatti (Alamo Quarry Market) 255 E. Basse Road, Suite 500 210-832-0300 Coming Soon! Piatti at Eilan 17101 La Cantera Parkway www.piatti.com 20

/ NHOME / fall 2012

Elian.indd 1

4/13/2012 5:31:06 PM


Join us at Capparelli’s on Main, where San Antonio can experience the old world tradition of wholesome, rustic Italian cuisine lovingly created with the freshest ingredients

O

Capparelli's n Main CAFE ITALIANO

Book your holiday parties now. Open 7 days lunch and dinner. Live music Fri & Sat evenings www.capparellisonmain.com 2524 North Main Avenue / San Antonio, TX 78212 / 210.735.5757 fall 2012 /

NHOME /

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fall 2012 / NHOME /

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// dining //

Eat Up I

A guide to dining across the Lone Star State // by: Cori Smelker

f there is one thing Texans like to do, it’s eat. But picking the right restaurant can be tricky. Throw in the holidays and a relatively unknown location, and before you know it, you’ve settled for a chain restaurant. After asking friends on Facebook about their favorite places, we compiled a list of unique eateries throughout Texas that not only serve a good meal, but provide a snapshot into the character of the owner and the nature of the community. So if your holiday plans involve traveling anywhere in the great state of Texas, why not stop at one of these locations and see what all the hubbub is about?

Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area

Hill Country

Chef Point Café (Watauga) Fill the gas tank – Check. Check the oil – Check. Sit down to a five-star meal…? Which of these things is not like the other? Franson Nwaeze, a Nigerian immigrant, worked his way from dishwasher to five-star chef before opening Chef Point Café. The gas station came first, as it was the only way banks would lend him and his wife, Paula, money. In 2003, they opened the restaurant. Specialties include Austrian stewed goat, oxtail soup, African-style, and blackened wild keta salmon. This popular restaurant fills up fast, so be sure to make reservations.

Salt Lick Barbecue (Driftwood) The Hill Country is best known for its barbecue joints, and none stands out more than Salt Lick Barbecue in Driftwood, about an hour west of Austin. With more awards than even Michael Phelps, Salt Lick is the king of barbecue. Be warned: It’s a cashonly place, so come with cash or use the onsite ATM. Try the coleslaw and potato salad, and you’ll be spoiled for life.

817-656-0080 5901 Watauga Road, Watauga, Texas 76148 Phone for hours of operation. www.chefpointcafe.org

512-858-4959 18300 FM 1826 Driftwood, Texas 78619 Monday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. www.saltlickbbq.com

Los Jarros Restaurant (Arlington) Sometimes the “hole in the wall” places are the best-kept secrets, and this is definitely the case with Los Jarros. Locals rave about its salsa, tamales, white bean soup and low prices. The portions are more than generous, and the wait staff is friendly. Try the traditional Mexican shrimp cocktail and the tres leches cake. 817-277-7245 408 W. Randol Mill Road, Arlington, Texas 76011 Phone for hours of operation.

West Texas Southern Rose Café (Seminole) Locals and non-locals alike rave about the chicken fried chicken and French fries at this small café in West Texas. The stuffed milanesa gets two big thumbs up, too. With a lunch buffet and now a Saturday breakfast menu added to the list, Southern Rose is gaining even more popularity. The most expensive item is less than $11, a bargain for what you get. 432-758-1600 400 N. Main St. (Hwy 385), Seminole, Texas 79360 Phone for hours of operation.

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/ NHOME / fall 2012

Fralo’s Art of Pizza (Boerne) Fralo’s is just minutes from the hubbub of San Antonio, so it is easy to get to, but feels a world away from the city lights. This is not your storebought pizza! The crusts are freshly made in-house, and the toppings are prepared to order. Expect a Texas twist with jalapeño as a topping. Salads and pastas are also on the menu for non-pizza lovers. 210-698-6616 23651 IH-10 West San Antonio, Texas 78257 Phone for hours of operation. www.fralos.com


San Antonio Bohanan’s (San Antonio)

If you are looking to make an impression or celebrate a special event, choose Bohanan’s. This is probably not the place to bring the extended family (unless money is no object), but for special events (thinking of popping the question at Christmas?), there is no place finer. Come for happy hour and stay for the live jazz that is played every Tuesday through Thursday evening. For the true food connoisseur, Bohanan’s is a slice of heaven.

and can pick items based on city, season and culture. One of the highlights is the heirloom tomato capresse. Pair it with the legendary deconstructed Caesar salad for a complete meal. The tagliatelle di zucchini is beyond compare. Zucchini is shaved lengthwise to create pasta-like strips and teamed with pine nuts, chicken, spinach and a spicy sauce. 210-832-0300 255 E. Basse Road, Ste. 500 San Antonio, Texas 78209 Phone for hours of operation. www.piatti.com/sanantonio Capparelli’s On Main (San Antonio) Capparelli’s On Main offers an extensive menu featuring an array of seafood, veal, chicken, pastas, pizzas, soups, salads, appetizers and desserts. Pizzas are prepared with the family’s award-winning homemade pizza dough and topped with only the finest ingredients. According to one server, try any dish with meatballs for a winning meal.

210-472-2600 219 E. Houston St., 2nd Floor San Antonio, Texas 78205 Phone for hours and reservations. www.bohanans.com

210-735-5757 2524 Main Ave. San Antonio, Texas 78212 Phone for hours of operation. www.capparellisonmain.com

Sumo (San Antonio) Sushi has become a staple for many San Antonians, and Sumo Japanese Steakhouse is the king of sushi. It’s also famous for the Japanese style of cooking known as “teppanyaki.” Your own personal chef prepares your meal right in front of you. Sumo offers succulent steaks, tender chicken, fresh seafood and garden-fresh vegetables. Kids eat free Monday through Wednesday with a paid adult entrée.

Vegeria Vegan Restaurant (San Antonio)

210-541-8100 Medical Center 8342 IH-10 West San Antonio, Texas 78230 Phone for hours of operation. http://sumosanantonio.com/index.html

As the only true vegan restaurant in San Antonio, Vegeria has cornered the market. But that is not a bad thing, as it receives rave reviews from guests. One meal to try is the monster nacho taco, guaranteed to fill you up. If you’re hungry enough for dessert afterwards, try a succulent cupcake – moist and flavorful.

Piatti Ristorante and Bar (San Antonio) Although there are several Piatti restaurants around the United States, don’t think it is a chain restaurant. Each location has autonomy when it comes to menu selection

Greater Houston Area New Zion Missionary Baptist Church – Church of Holy Smoke (Huntsville) A small church needed a way to supplement its income, and one of the members had a brainwave: “Let’s cook barbecue, and we can sell it.” From humble beginnings, it is slated to be the best barbecue joint in Texas. Everything is made on the premises, and the smokers run almost full-time in the back of the building. It’s a small space, and don’t be surprised if you end up eating in the kitchen. 936-295-2349 2601 Montgomery Road Huntsville, Texas 77340 Phone for hours of operation. Colichia’s (Port Neches/Groves) Colichia’s is reportedly the best momand-pop Italian place ever. The spaghetti sauce is unlike what many of us are used to, as it is sweet. The restaurant even has a salad chef, which puts its salads on a different level from most other places. A word of advice: If you’re going to order salad, everyone in your party should because of the high volume of garlic. 409-962-7711 5601 E. Parkway St. Groves, Texas 77619 Phone for hours of operation.

South Texas

210-826-4223 8407 Broadway, Ste. 1  San Antonio, Texas 78209  www.myvegeria.com

Dirty Al’s Restaurant (South Padre Island) For an island that has an abundance of restaurants, it is hard to stand out, but Dirty Al’s does it. If you like fried seafood, this is the place to come! The fish and shellfish are extremely fresh, the portions generous, the prices reasonable and the atmosphere casual. 956-761-4901 33396 State Park Road South Padre Island, Texas 78597 Open every day, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

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// dining //

Happy and Healthy Holidays This season, enhance your holiday cheer by introducing your family to foods that are not only nutritious and nourishing, but also fun and delicious. // by: Mary Olivar

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ich, luscious eggnogs. Candy and baked goods galore. Savory roasts and creamy cheeses. When it comes to holiday foods, healthy eating isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. Although it may seem like a contradiction in terms, there are a lot of things you can do to keep you and your family healthy, happy and still in holiday mode.   Celebrate yourself If you’re not feeling well, your holidays are going to drag. Despite all the hustle and bustle, I take some time to take care of myself and my loved ones – not just with tokens of my affection, but by supporting our health and wellness with plenty of nourishing foods like dark leafy greens, winter squash and earthy root vegetables. These colorful plant foods are bursting with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, and they are a treat for my body, providing loads of nutrient-dense fuel during this busy time. I love to get cozy on a chilly night with a warm bowl of stew, a hearty chili or a creamy and satisfying seasonal soup, like winter squash and apple soup! I like to make double or even triple batches of these foods to make sure that even during this busy and social time, there is plenty to share and always something healthy and delicious in the kitchen.   Celebrate the season While my family’s seasonal foods still include many of the traditional indulgent favorites I grew up with, we also make sure to delight in the simple, abundant fruits and vegetables of the season, particularly pomegranates, nuts, apples, pears, greens, roots and winter squashes. These foods are a fun part of our holiday activities, too. My eldest daughter delights in pomegranates and loves to separate the gem-colored seeds from the pith in a bowl of cool water while

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her little brother greedily awaits the treats. My middle daughter could crack nuts for hours, again, much to the delight of her perpetually hungry brother. To keep my kids fueled and fed, I like to roast big batches of whole sweet potatoes to have on hand for snacking. Their sweet and smoky flavor is satisfying even when eaten cold and whole, right out of the fridge. Easy, simple and nutritious. For an even sweeter and spicier way to eat sweet potatoes, try roasted spiced sweet potatoes and pears. While the oven is on, I also like to make a big batch of Brussels sprouts with apples and shallots for further delicious snacking. These fruits and vegetables bring a festive and naturally colored beauty to the table. We also make veggie wraps with collard greens in our kitchen, which make a beautiful addition to any celebration. And they’re so easy to make that I barely need to help at all when my children make it themselves. But I make sure I get to eat some, too!  Baby Bok Choy is another favorite vegetable around my house, which is so simple and tasty with a homemade citrus dressing. Yum! For a sweeter treat, put some colorful fruits on the table for the kiddos to grab themselves – apples and citrus are plentiful


and delicious this time of the year!  I like to keep plenty of these comforting, nutrient-dense foods on hand to keep my family and myself energized, healthy and feeling full of cheer during this busiest of seasons. Plus, these foods are delicious and fun, too. ■      What’s cooking? For the latest local store events, news and what we’re doing in the community, follow Whole Foods Market Austin on Facebook and Twitter.

Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Pears  Ingredients:  2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 1/4 cup sherry vinegar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 2 pears, such as Bosc or d’Anjou, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks Method:  Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet or large roasting pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Transfer potatoes to baking sheet with a slotted spoon. (Set aside bowl with remaining vinegar spice mixture for use with pears.) Bake about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place pears in reserved bowl with vinegar spice mixture and toss until evenly coated. Add pears to baking sheet with potatoes and continue to bake until pears are golden and potatoes are fork-tender, about 25 minutes.

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// custom homes //

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NHOME Builder Spotlight

Room to roam

With more than a decade of experience building “eclectically Texas� custom homes for discriminating buyers in the Hill Country, Todd Glowka maintains his focus on quality and uniqueness. // by: cori smelker // photography: jason roberts

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T

odd Glowka’s statement on his Web page defines his building dictum: “I build every home as if I intend to live in it myself.” And when one looks around his latest project, one gets the idea that anyone would want to live in this home. With that motto as his starting point, Glowka has successfully built custom homes for the discriminating buyer in the Hill Country and surrounding areas for the last decade-and-a-half. Glowka’s building roots go deep. As his father was in construction, Todd often accompanied his dad to building sites. In him grew the knowledge that he wanted the same freedom to be outside – to be managing projects without the confines of a desk. The dream became a reality when Glowka graduated with his Master Builder

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Certification. What sets Todd Glowka Builder Inc. apart from other custom homebuilders? There are several things, but one that stands out is Glowka’s ability to insert the homeowner’s personality into the very frame of the home. “When I meet with the clients for the first time,” Glowka explains, “I know them as a name on a piece of paper. By the time I hand over the keys to the finished home, I know them as well as their spouse, their parents or their best friend.” How does he achieve that? Upon meeting Glowka, clients complete a questionnaire that aids him in the planning stages. Together they look at family, extended family and lifestyle choices. Glowka expounds, “I know if the wife has four brothers and three


sisters and whether they host a lot of family get-togethers. So that might mean the home needs a formal dining room in order to house a huge group. Perhaps they prefer something more casual and only want an eat-in kitchen, but a large outdoor living area is their No. 1 requirement.” Glowka and his team then design everything from the foundation up with his clients’ needs and desires in mind. “I build homes, not museums,” Glowka says with a chuckle, referring to some of the homes he has walked through that are stunning, but lack personality and charm. He brings his own idiosyncratic charisma into each home he builds by introducing singular touches. With a passion for history, Glowka uses timbers and other natural materials that reflect the rich history of America. Looking around Glowka’s latest project, one cannot help but notice the thick, heavy, hand-hewn, somewhat battered exposed trusses that support the ceiling and provide architecturally contrasting elements to the

overall feel of the home. It turns out they are from a barn in Pennsylvania, and are well over 200 years old. They served as corner posts in hay barns and have withstood Mother Nature’s test of time, weathered by hundreds of years of rain, snow and the harsh elements of the North East. Glowka draws inspiration from his beloved Hill Country for design and finishing touches. He utilizes stone quarried from the Hill Country and combines it with tinges of galvanized metal, board and batt applications. Massive hand-forged iron steel plates tie it all together. Along with the polished concrete floors and countertops, Glowka often pulls off what many describe as “eclectically Texas.” Another source – or as Glowka says, “a passion” – is the combination of antiques, reclaimed woods and materials from barns, outbuildings, general stores and abandoned railroads. Currently, Glowka is dismantling a very large English hay barn near Mill Point,

“I build every home as if I intend

to live in it myself.”

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“When my clients come to me, they’re building for the last time, so it has to be

unique and special.”

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N.Y., circa 1870, and bringing it down to a ranch near Boerne to restore it to its original condition. There will, of course, be a few modifications and comfort creatures added, as expected by Glowka’s clients. This is one of the reasons he is an eco-friendly and green builder. “There’s a ton of history in these structures, and they each deserve another chance at making another few hundred years of history and great memories in the lives of those that opt to preserve them,” Glowka says. “The look simply cannot be duplicated using new materials.” Over his 13 years of building, Glowka has come to trust and rely on a very select and small team of people. He uses the same subcontractors for each project, as each one already knows and understands his desire for quality and uniqueness. He and his father personally supervise each build from beginning to end. As a result, he only takes on one to three new builds a year, depending on the size, location and level of difficulty each project presents. Glowka is a hands-on builder. He knows that in order to give his clients exactly what they want, he needs to be in communication with the client and his subcontractors every step of the way. “That is why I limit the numbers of homes I work on at any given time,” Glowka says. “I never want to spread myself too thin, or have my clients think for one moment that we are not on top of every little detail of their build.” Glowka knows that for most of his clients, he is building the last home they will ever live in. “When my clients come to me, they are building for the last time, so it has to be unique and special.” Although Glowka does not tell his clients how big or small their home should be, he does espouse the “bigger is not always better” axiom. “A well-constructed, well-laid-out, 4,000-square-foot home can sometimes feel more spacious than an 8,000-square-foot home if it is designed right.” He also touts using high-end finishes and energy-saving construction methods. “Spend the money in the front end, save in the back end,” he says. For example, he uses a 100 percent natural soybean spray-in foam insulation product, wood windows with Low E 366-rated glass, propane or natural gas water heaters, appliances and 16 SEER and above HVAC systems in all of his homes. These products often offer tax rebates for the homeowners, but ultimately provide long-term energy savings within a few years. Glowka prides himself on his company’s sterling reputation and exacting quality control, which shows in the completed project: a turnkey-ready home – a home of unparalleled uniqueness, quality and beauty. So whether your style is traditional, eclectic or a harmonious mix of the two, let Todd Glowka Builder Inc. create your timeless masterpiece. ■

To view some of Todd Glowka’s latest or projects under construction, please visit his website at www.tgbuilder.com. fall 2012 / NHOME /

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// custom homes //

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/ NHOME / fall 2012


Hill Country Holidays Treat the whole family to some fun and get into the spirit of the season at one of the many themed holiday events filling the calendar at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. // by: Amanda Salerno

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As traditional as it may sound, the C-Star Invitational breaks the mold year after year.

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ith temperatures still trailing into the 70s – and even the 80s – during the last few months of the year, it can be difficult to find your inner holiday cheer. (How many times have you thought, ‘It just doesn’t feel like Christmas’?) We all have our go-to tactics to get into the holiday spirit, whether it’s sitting down with the kids to create hand-stencil turkeys or rolling out snowflake cookies while Bing Crosby croons “Silver Bells” in the background. For members of The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch, getting into the holiday spirit has never been easier. The Clubs’ calendar for the upcoming months is full of themed events that are sure to inspire even the most stubborn of Ebenezer Scrooges to get excited for the holidays.

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Starting out the fall with a little bit of friendly competition, the members of The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch recruit their closest, or most competitive, non-member friends for one of The Clubs’ most popular events: the C-Star Invitational Tournament. Every year, the tournament boasts playful rivalries, along with some mostly serious golf that starts off the fall season at The Clubs on a lighthearted note. This three-day event offers golfers a pre-tournament practice round, two days of five nine-hole matches on the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and dinner at the 40,000-square-foot clubhouse prepared by Executive Chef Brad Evers. As traditional as it may sound, the C-Star Invitational breaks the mold year after year. Previous tournaments have incorporated a casino night, a nighttime putting competition


and even a live mariachi band right on the golf course. The masterminds behind the tournament have found fun and creative ways to incorporate both daytime and nighttime activities for the golf wives, as well. One year offered a day trip to Fredericksburg for some shopping and dining on a luxury coach filled with wine and light hors d’oeuvres. After three days of golf and nonstop fun, the tournament concludes with an awards party on the last evening to celebrate the champions. Following closely behind the C-Star Invitational is a favorite of the children of Cordillera Ranch: Trunk or Treat. In a neighborhood like Cordillera Ranch, with 8,700 acres and more than 42 miles of roads, it is sometimes hard to walk from house to house like traditional trick-or-treating entails. Cordillera Ranch came up with a solution: Trunk or Treat. In this innovative answer to a Hill Country Halloween, the residents of Cordillera Ranch take the trekking out of trick-or-treating by decorating their trucks, SUVs and sometimes even hunting vehicles, and parking them all around the clubhouse. The neighborhood children can then safely walk from trunk to trunk and get

their candy fixes. A true family affair, where sometimes the adults are more excited and dressed up than the children, Trunk or Treat also features food from The Clubs, along with music and entertainment, all of which takes place in the safety of The Clubs and takes away the danger from this already spooky night. Before most of you have even finished with your Trunk or Treat candy stashes, Thanksgiving will arrive, along with a little too much indulgence and not quite enough exercise. The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch has found a fun way to keep you moving despite the lethargic temptations of the holiday season. The answer to this conundrum is the Turkey Trot and Stuffing Stroll. This fun-run incorporates all ages, as well as athletic capabilities. Those who are up to the challenge can participate in the 5K run around The Clubs’ grounds, totaling 3.2 miles of beautiful Hill Country terrain. More casual exercisers can walk off the turkey by taking the alternate, but still worthy 1.5-mile stroll. This is a workout intended for the whole family – strollers and pets are also welcome. For those who prefer indoor activities, the Angel Tree & Ugly Sweater Party with Christmas karaoke is set at the end of November to begin the countdown to Christmas – perfect for members looking to jump headfirst into Christmas festivities as soon as the turkey leftovers are put away. Ring in December by donning your tackiest holiday sweater. Warm up your vocal chords, and pick out your favorite Christmas tunes for what is guaranteed to be an interesting night of karaoke at the clubhouse. Remembering the kiddos this time of year, The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch hosts the annual Gingerbread House Decorating event. The best and worst part of decorating a gingerbread house is the sticky, messy candy that gets everywhere in the process. The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch provides the messy fun kids love without the hassle of the cleanup for parents. The Cabana Grille will be fully stocked with all of the decorating necessities to create perfect gingerbread houses. All you need to worry about is getting your kids’ freshly decorated gingerbread house safely home in one sticky, delicious piece. Rounding out the holiday family fun is one of The Clubs’ favorite events, Brunch with Santa. Continue the Christmas countdown by joining Santa Claus himself at the clubhouse. A specially prepared brunch menu will be available to dine from while you enjoy the beautifully decorated clubhouse and Christmas tree. Complimentary photos with Santa are included, and make for a great addition to your family’s Christmas greeting cards. Cordillera Ranch has already earned an impressive reputation for its commitment to making life at the ranch an unparalleled experience. The additional dedication to planning interesting and memorable member events further proves that Cordillera Ranch is truly unlike any other Hill Country community. You won’t find a better place to experience all of the fun, but none of the stress that comes along with the holidays. ■

For more information on the Cordillera Ranch lifestyle, The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch, memberships or events, please visit www. cordilleraranch.com or call 888-66-RANCH. fall 2012 / NHOME /

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// custom homes //

power house

Having built their dream home in the exclusive Greystone Country Estates,

Sean and Claudia Elliott enjoy idyllic year-round outdoor living in one of San Antonio’s authentic masterpieces. // special to nhome

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When former San Antonio Spurs great Sean Elliott and his journalist wife, Claudia Zapata Elliott, built their dream home, they were inspired by a town dear to their hearts: San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico. “My parents built a vacation home in San Miguel in 2000,” Claudia says. “Sean and I chose it as the site of our wedding the next year, and have spent several weeks there every summer since with our three children. “The beautiful homes in San Miguel are often tucked away behind large antique doors and courtyard walls. If you’re ever walking down the cobblestone streets and pass an open door, be sure to peek in. You’ll be amazed at the hidden gems.” That inspiration is clearly visible in the Elliotts’ gated compound in the north-central San Antonio enclave of Greystone Country Estates. Guests approaching the home encounter a massive stone and wood gate. Behind the gate, a lush courtyard with a Mexican-tiled fountain makes for a fabulous colorful entry. With influences from Colonial Mexico to Europe, this is one of San Antonio’s authentic masterpieces. A bespoke creation of color, light, space, texture, landscape and water, this estate


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makes a fitting residence for a power couple. To achieve a timeless look, the Elliotts reached out to designer William Luft from Laredo, the vision behind some of South Texas’ most prominent ranch homes. When searching for the perfect spot to build their home, the Elliotts searched exhaustively throughout the city. At the top of their wish list: privacy. As the color commentator for the Spurs local television broadcast, Sean – one of the few players to have his jersey retired – is on the road with the team frequently. When he comes home, he prefers a quiet retreat. “I love that you can’t see our home from the street,” Sean says. “It’s incredibly private.” Greystone Country Estates, with its 1- to 5-acre lots and 24/7 guard-gated access, was an ideal spot for a high-profile resident. Ultra-secure and private, the hilly, leafy neighborhood features some of the largest, most exclusive homes in the city. Its location is convenient to the airport, downtown and San Antonio’s second Whole Foods Market, which opened less than a mile away. The couple found a 5-acre lot located on a private lane at the

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back of the subdivision, backing to the bucolic Bible Study Fellowship. “We love our neighbors because we don’t see them,” Claudia says with a laugh. “And because our property backs into the Bible Study Fellowship’s property, we never have to worry about someone building behind our lot or obstructing our view.” When it came to planning and siting the house, it was essential to incorporate a gorgeous, lush landscape. Rather than overwhelm the land, the estate seems to rise organically amidst the ponds, waterfalls, pools, bridges, lawns and greens. The Elliotts turned to nationally renowned landscape designer James Keeter to conceptualize the vision. “We asked Jim (Keeter) to create an oasis, and he more than delivered,” Sean says. “One of my favorite things to do is walk around the property. You feel like you’re a world away. ” The goal of idyllic year-round outdoor living was executed to perfection. The property feels more like a state park than a house. Private, serene views of the trees and water prevail throughout the home in its many granite paths, balconies, flagstone patios and verandas.


From public galleries to private spaces, the home lends itself to diverse lifestyles. And, oh, that water. The picturesque ponds show off their colorful flowers most of the year while enormous catfish prowl beneath the surface. As you might expect in a union of a former NBA star and the San Antonio Express-News Health and Fitness writer, the estate is replete with sports facilities, including a state-of-the-art workout room, basketball court and putting green. For a home of nearly 10,000 square feet, the interior is surprisingly intimate. From public galleries to private spaces, the home lends itself to diverse lifestyles. “It’s perfect for entertaining,” Claudia says. “We’ve hosted everything from my brother’s wedding to Spurs events and dinner parties with friends. And our family’s Easter egg hunts are epic.” The floor plan accentuates openness, light and space. Clois-

tered areas with secret nooks encourage exploring. The Elliotts know their wines and have acquired a fine collection. Bottles are displayed in a beautiful temperature-controlled wine room worthy of a fine small restaurant cellar. The interior finish-out in the home is stunning. A harmonious mix of subtle calacatta marble tiles, sugarloaf flagstone and – for a fun contrast – a splash of color from Mexican and Italian tiles, the living areas are glamorous without begging for attention. Hand-troweled walls and elaborate ceiling details throughout the estate lend romance – the senses remind of Old World Spain at each turn. As the kitchen is a true gathering spot for the Elliott family, it was important to create an inviting area, as well as provide the tools to prepare chef-inspired meals. » fall 2012 / NHOME /

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“One of my favorite things to do is walk around the property. You feel like you’re a world away.”

With state-of-the-art appliances by Wolf, Bosch, GE Monogram, Gaggenau and Hoshizaki, it’s a true culinary showplace. “This kitchen is so inspiring, it will make a chef out of the most tentative of cooks,” Claudia says. “I didn’t start cooking much until we moved here.” And the finishing touch on this magnificent achievement is undoubtedly the “bell tower,” an architecturally glorious spire surveying the grounds and pastoral views many miles in the distance. It’s a satisfying, nearly spiritual, exclamation point for one of Texas’ finest homes. ■

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Inspirational ideas. Unsurpassed service. 830-980-9595 26995 HWY 281 N. San Antonio, TX 78260 512-835-0937 3600 E. Old Settlers Round Rock, TX 78665

210-255-1125 2500 N. Main Ave. San Antonio, TX 78212

Beautiful kitchens, luxurious living areas and creative home enhancements for discriminating buyers. • Cabinets, countertops and appliances • Outdoor kitchens and BBQ grills • Garage doors and windows • Fireplaces and gas logs Whether starting from scratch with a new home or remodeling an older one, Parrish Companies and Parrish at Cardell on Main are here to help. Our experts are happy to provide personal tours of showrooms and can offer advice in the selection of products that best suit your needs and lifestyle. Visit us today, and discover why Parrish has been a trusted resource for South Texas home owners since 1972. fall 2012 / NHOME /

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// home decorating ideas //

NHOME Featured Business

No Boundaries

Matt Young brings some of the finest-quality natural stone in the world to San Antonio’s backyard, ensuring there is something for everyone at Young Stone Inc. // by: Crystal L. Ragsdale

Focal points. Focal points? Focal points!

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If you are currently remodeling, considering remodeling or are in the process of building a new home, you have most likely heard the term, “focal points,” with multiple variations of tone and significance. And while there are multiple focal points in the design and construction of your home, an integral focal point to any home is the countertops. One of the most popular types of surface for your countertop is granite – a unique, one-of-a-kind surface that is made of natural stone and has become quite popular over the last decade. As a matter of fact, whether remodeling or building new, selecting a natural stone like granite is one of the most solid ways to increase the value or add value to your home. One company that caters to “exquisite” focal points is right here in San Antonio. Young Stone Inc. is happily and successfully celebrating 10 years of bringing unique and exquisite natural stone to San Antonio. Owner Matt Young is a world traveler, compliments of


UNIQUELY TEXAS. UNIQUELY YOU.

830.229.5565

www.tgbuilder.com

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“We carry a very exquisite niche of stone in our yard. Some of our pieces are more than 500,000 years old.”

the dedication he poses to his company. While most of us hold regard for our worldly, leisurely travels, Young travels the world to buy and select unique pieces of stone from vast parts of multiple continents. “We carry a very exquisite niche of stone in our yard,” he says. “Some of our pieces are more than 500,000 years old. I pride myself in hand-selecting pieces that are unlike any other. If a customer is looking for something that is one-of-a-kind, chances are they can find it here.” Young started in the stone business more than two decades ago, not as a business owner, but in a warehouse, unloading and loading containers of natural stone. He learned the logistics of how to run a company at the same time that he developed a passion for the trade. “Persistence and striving for all aspects of quality is what keeps Young Stone Inc. successful,” he says. “I am always striving to bring back the best quality of merchandise and something that is special for every customer.” Once you encounter “the yard of stone” at 107 West Nakoma, you will find that Young’s vision is tangible. It is one of the largest stone-yards in this part of the United States. On many occasions, buyers fly in from multiple areas of the country.

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GO GREEN

with Stephens Roofing & Remodeling

Any color and any variation of stone can be found there. Whatever the personality or character that you are looking for your “focal point” to define, there is no question you can find it at Young Stone Inc. The boundaries are limitless. As far as creativity, the pallet is blank and ready for all buyers to arrive, select and “paint” their canvas of a countertop. And once complete, the focal point of your home will undoubtedly be your unique, handpicked countertop from Young Stone Inc. ■

For more information, visit the showroom at 107 West Nakoma, visit the website at www.youngstoneinc.com or email Matt Young at sanantonioyoungstone@yahoo.com.

ALL TYPES OF ROOFING SYSTEMS INSTALLED AND REPAIRED: METAL “GREEN” ROOF, COOL ROOFS, SHINGLES, PATIO COVERS, AND CARPORTS WHY CHOOSE STEPHENS ROOFING & REMODELING? Satisfied customers are our goal. Constant communication and excellent customer service are our highest priority. • Insurance claim assistance available (experience with all types) • Award-winning quality. BBB rating A+ • Trained and skilled craftsmen to assist in your project design • Neat and clean job sites, competitive prices, complete follow-through on details • Honesty, dependability, on-time performance • Licensed and Drug-Free company (TX License #IC2-916836)

16272 SAN PEDRO AVE. SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS 78232

210.785.0994

WWW.STEPHENSROOFING.NET

866.785.0994 INFO@STEPHENSROOFING.NET

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NOW THE ROAD TO SUCCESS LOOKS A LOT LIKE A CART PATH

When it comes to closing deals, cultivating contacts, and cementing relationships, a Professional Business Membership at the PGA TOUR’s TPC San Antonio can give you a decisive competitive edge. This exclusive membership offers unlimited access to the home of the Valero Texas Open and AT&T Championship. Memberships are limited in number, so contact Matt Flory today at 210.491.5816.

mattflory@pgatourtpc.com 48

/ NHOME / fall 2012

www.tpcsanantonio.com


Convenience. Security. Luxury. Simplicity.

This photo taken from an actual home projection movie at the 2012 Spring Parade of Homes

The Difference is in the Details Builder: Kyle Lindsey Pool Builder/Designer: Pristine Pools

Home Automation Lighting Control Climate Control Shade Control

Monitor & Control your home from anywhere in the world, providing Peace of Mind.

Whole House Audio Home Theaters Outdoor Theaters Security

Cameras & DVRs Computer Networking Smart Remotes Custom iPhone Apps

830.537.3410 / info@SterlingHomeTech.com fall 2012 / NHOME / 4 9


// home decorating ideas //

8

Holiday Gift Ideas

This season, treat that special someone to the ultimate holiday gift for the home.

// by: Yadira Acevedo

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The holidays are the perfect occasion to get that special someone a finishing touch for his or her home. Gifts for the home can be pieces that add to the dÊcor, set a relaxing mood or make entertaining effortless. This season is also an ideal time to tidy up your decorating in preparation for holiday guests. You don’t have to go far with these gift ideas available in the San Antonio area.


1/ Oscuro Cookware: Traditional clay cooking pots of Colombia are both attractive and practical. With their versatile use, they can go from cook top to oven to tabletop. No paints, dyes or chemicals are used in the production of these pots. They are made in a rural village on the bank of a river where unique gray clay is found. During the firing process, they are penetrated by heavy smoke, which gives them a natural black surface. Available with lids, as pans or as bowls. www.nestmodern.com 2/ Miele CM5 Espresso Machine: From the inventor of the world’s first built-in coffee system comes a new countertop system perfect for space-challenged areas. It is equipped with identical technology as the built-in system and tested to last for 20 years. The CM5 espresso machine freshly grinds and brews whole beans with the push of a single button. It features a precision noclogging grinder that is insulated to allow for noise reduction. Hot water/ steam is dispensed electronically, and the machine features an LCD display with simple program selections for espresso, coffee, cappuccino and latte macchiato. The top-of-the-line model is complete with a heated chrome-plated cup warmer. www. homewerkssa.com

3/ Outdoor Canvas Art by West of the Wind Designs: Put the finishing touches on your outdoor setting with colorful canvas art. These art pieces are waterproof and UV protected for your outdoor enjoyment. Special mounts are provided for wind resistance. www.cozyoutdoorescapes.com

4/ Honeycomb Calcite Accessories: Unique decorative items made from a natural stone called honeycomb calcite, mined in Utah. This translucent and transparent stone emits a soothing glow when lit with candles, lights or sunlight. Each piece is unique, formed by Mother Nature and handcrafted by artisans. Home accents include candleholders, wine chillers, wine rocks and more. www.itsaglow.com

5/ Zero Gravity Recliner: Replace the old bulky recliner with this sleek and functional chair. The Novus Zero Gravity Recliner by Relax the Back allows your muscles, joints and spine to recover from the effects of gravity by reclining with minimal effort. This recliner takes the stress out of your spine by elevating you to a “zero gravity” position. www. relaxtheback.com 6/ Tea Light Bubbles: Both sculptural and functional, these tea light bubbles add finishing touches to and set a relaxing ambiance in your home. These glass bubbles can be wall-hung individually or as a grouping for a more dramatic look. The handmade blown glass is available in clear and in a variety of fun colors. www.soukhomedecor.com

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7/ Encaustic Concrete Pavers: Add some color to your pathway with these concrete pavers. They feature a durable concrete design with colorful inlaid patterns. They are suitable for patios, steppingstones, walkways and even walls for a tile look. You can mix and match colors and patterns with these 15.5” square pieces. www.biggrassliving.com

8/ Modfire: This wood-burning or propane fireplace is hand-rolled into a sleek cone designed to both direct heat and provide a beautiful modern centerpiece for your outdoor space. Every Modfire is finished in the studio by a steel artisan, making each piece unique with slight variations in size and finishing. Available in 4” or 7” heights. www.alfrescopatio.com 9/ “Lavender Lilies,” by F. Tulok: F. Tulok’s art is very distinguishing with a characteristic Renaissance style. He mastered the art of painting in copper. His technique of using unusual metallic undercoating allows his colors to flourish with soft shadows and vibrant hues. Oil on copper, 5” x 7.” www.jrmooneygalleries.com

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Yadira Acevedo founded Yadesign Interiors with more than a decade of experience in the profession. She completed her design studies in Chicago and has since worked on projects in Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Florida and most recently, Texas. Acevedo is well versed in décor of different styles and focuses on creating an environment for each client that reflects his or her taste and lifestyle. For information on Yadesign Interiors, call 210-862-3374 or email yadi@yadesigninteriors.com.

fall 2012 / NHOME /

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// green //

Step Up to Solar, Part II

Change your mindset about what’s important in your home from the initial

install to get the most bang for your solar buck. // by: Rita Zenzen Heck

The installation Stepping up to solar means not only looking to the sun for energy, but changing your mindset about what is really important in a home. In the '60s and '70s, bigger, more unnecessary bells and whistles was the norm. But there were some who, even then, respected the environment and wanted to change the world. They grew up to be Baby Boomers, who are now dedicated to taking advantage of the naturals, downsizing their homes and investing big bucks for living green and using natural energy.

The Birnbaum theory Dr. Stuart Birnbaum, a geology professor at UTSA, and his wife, Nettie, a physical therapist, were among those believers. Twenty-six years ago, they designed and sited their 2,500-square-foot home in Helotes, Texas, to be energy-efficient with lots of open space for good air circulation, a tile roof and extra insulation to maintain temperatures, low-flow toilets, a rainwater collection system, a wood stove for heat and the most efficient cooling system available at the time. Realizing that a refrigerator is the biggest energy user in the house, the couple opted for a restaurant unit with glass doors. “You have no idea how much energy is wasted opening and closing the refrigerator door to

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look for something,” Birnbaum said. “Now we can spot what we want immediately and go straight to it. “But as we learned more about solar power, we knew we wanted to include it in our system. We took our first step to solar with a solar hot water heater, which operated so efficiently, providing water hotter than we needed at no extra energy cost. We wanted more from the sun. “Our next big step was a few solar panels on the roof in 2009. We now have 33 and are planning to add three more panels for a total of 9 kw, which will provide up to 80 percent of our electricity. We bought at a good time when CPS and federal perks were high, so financing was easy and we wound up with an $11,000 bill for a $32,000 system, which will be paid for in about five years with continually low- or no-energy bills. “We’ve been guided through our solar experiences by Tony Contreras, head of business development at CAM Solar in San Antonio, which did our installations. He’s helped us make the right decisions to get the most from our solar buck.”

Top of the line From that same era, Lori and George Becknell, who met in college, agreed it was their duty to respect the planet and realized that they wanted to step up to solar. “But the house we were living in just

wasn’t designed for solar panels, so we found an existing house in Alamo Heights near Olmos Dam, a creative solar-familiar architect and began our dream Go Solar project,” said Lori, a long-time San Antonio realtor and investor. Ideally located for solar on a triangularshaped hilltop lot, the existing tri-level house was unsuitable for the Becknell family, which includes two college-student daughters. “We loved the footprint, but needed to change it to match our lifestyle and solar desires,” Lori said. “So we contacted John Grable, FAIA, who had already upgraded 35 homes in the area, many with solar, and was familiar with restructuring an existing property.” Grable increased the original tri-level home to five levels, kept everything but the kitchen, which was totally gutted, added a lower level bedroom suite and created a relaxing pool that collects water condensation from the air conditioner, enough to keep up with pool water evaporation. Any demolished materials were re-adapted into the house, resulting in practically no landfill waste. The 33-panel system, expected to provide all of the 3,704-squarefoot home’s energy (and maybe an energy payback), is on a raised lip roof invisible from the street. “My concept was to bring the outdoors in, so there are lots of sun-protected windows, which reveal trees and garden and an amazing city skyline view,” Grable said. “The structure features poured concrete, blown-in foam insulation, reused wood and polished concrete floors. Each room has a personality.” “I think my favorite spot will be the rooftop garden, where I plan to raise herbs and grow tomatoes and vegetables in large pots,” Lori said. “We were used to a backyard, but I’m really looking forward to this new space with a city view.” Scheduled for completion in early October, the Becknell home will be featured in the annual AIA San Antonio Home Tour on Oct. 13. BuiltSmart Resources, specializing in energy-efficient home consulting and construction, was contractor for the project.

A national first Over the years, technology has produced many solar products (tiles, film, spray, coatings), but solar shingles seem to be a new


favorite. In July 2012, solar shingle manufacturer Dow Powerhouse® announced that San Antonio’s Imagine Homes would be first in the nation to develop a Powerhouse solar shingle affordable community to include solar shingles on about one-third of the roof of every home in the neighborhood, providing approximately 6 percent of the homes’ energy. “Because the roof deck has to be specially constructed to accept solar shingles, the home buyer has the option of increasing the number, preferably while still in the building stage, to get more solar energy,” explained John Friesenhahn, president and co-owner of Imagine Homes with partner Jim Bastoni. Winner of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Building awards in 2008, 2009 and 2011, Imagine Homes was among the first builders to include green in its structures, complying with ENERGY STAR and Build San Antonio Green programs. “Our model home in the new Willis Ranch solar neighborhood, located at Bulverde Road and Borgfeld, opens Oct. 1, and construction will begin immediately on 30 homes there,” Friesenhahn said. “Powerhouse shingles fit in with existing roof shingles, so there are no raised panels to interfere with the overall roof design.” Imagine Homes has created nine neighborhoods in the San Antonio area in the $148,000$485,000 price range with custom-built structures reaching into the millions. Since 2006, it has reduced CO2 emissions by 2,332,605 pounds per year (based on energy ratings) and has planted 800 trees. With an environmental engineering degree, Friesenhahn and his partner are putting San Antonio on top of the nation’s green home market.

Ask the experts Solar San Antonio, founded by Bill Sinkin (now chairman), has pioneered the road to solar and guides potential users in selecting a panel distributor, installer, financial institution, architect and builder. Lanny Sinkin, currently the director, is continuing the mission of his father who, at 99, is still active in the city-sponsored organization. “If folks ask us for assistance through our online application (www.solarsanantonio. org/bringsolarhome/application), we assign three solar installers to make appointments and monitor the process to be sure it is a good experience for the potential solar user,” Lanny

explained. Solar rebates and tax credits change often, so it is important to check the latest information on a continuing basis. “Currently (fall 2012), CPS covers about 35 percent of the cost of a solar system,” Lanny said. “There also is a 30 percent federal tax credit, which can be deducted from taxes owed the federal government. In addition, monthly energy bills are significantly reduced, as well as pollution, health hazards and extreme climate impacts from burning fossil fuels. Once installed, the price of solar energy is always zero, which protects against any expected rate increases for other fuels. “Solar San Antonio has recruited lenders who understand how the solar process works and have solar loans available,” Lanny said. “San Antonio Credit Union, First Bank, BBVA Compass and Generations Federal Credit Union participate in our Bring Solar Home campaign. Other lending institutions in San Antonio also make solar system loans. “The solar installers we work with have the financial institution contact information available and assist the potential solar user to obtain a loan.” It really pays to be energy independent. Step up to solar! ■

Contacts Tony Contreras

CAM Solar 210-227-3456 www.gocamsolar.com

John Grable, FAIA

210-820-3332, ext. 31 www.johngrable.com

Amy Carlsen Pyles

BuiltSmart Resources 210-764-4411 www.builtsmartresources.com

Imagine Homes

210-877-5900 www.imaginehomessa.com

Solar San Antonio

210-354-0236 www.solarsanantonio.org

Bring Solar Home 210-227-6537

fall 2012 / NHOME /

53


// technology //

A

Twist on a Tradition

Enjoy safer and easier access to your home attic space with Auto-Lad, the state-of-the-art electronic ladder system brought to you by eLAIR ENTERPRISES. // by: cynthia green // photography: erin clarkson

A

t the request of his wife, Lydia, aerospace inventor Jean-Pierre Lair created a state-of-the-art electronic attic ladder. Most everyone has experienced the traditional pull-down wood attic ladder. It takes a rope or a pole with a hook and a lot of strength just to pull down and unfold the cumbersome ladder. As Mr. Lair travels extensively for business, Mrs. Lair found it difficult and somewhat dangerous to access their attic storage space by herself. Nearly six years ago, she asked her husband if he

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could invent something for her. When he asked what she would like, she took him to the garage and explained that she would like an attic ladder that would operate automatically: Push a button, the ladder comes down, push it again and the ladder goes up, just like a garage door. So after much thought, Mr. Lair began building a prototype to replace the wood pull-down ladder. He purchased a basic aluminum ladder from a local hardware store, then modified a used garage door motor, and the process was on its way. At the same time, he started a patent


In today’s digital age, everyone wants immediate service, and this ladder does just that, upon demand.

search and was able to apply for two patents to protect the technology. Both patents were granted in 2011. In 2006, this new electronic ladder was fully operational in the Lairs’ home, which provided easy access to the attic for Mrs. Lair. The idea to put it on the market came after many close friends expressed interest in having one. The company, eLAIR ENTERPRISES, was launched, giving the name “AutoLad” to the ladder; a website was created; and a search for a U.S. manufacturer began. As the Lairs wanted this product to be made in the United States, the

circuit board is produced in the Seattle area, the motor and speed reducer in the Chicago area and the aluminum extrusions in Texas. In late 2011, the Lairs selected a San Antonio manufacturer to assemble AutoLad. Much thought was taken not only in the creation of the product, but also in its unique safety features, manufacturing and finally, delivery to each customer. Auto-Lad has been retrofitted in existing homes and offices, as well as in new construction. Since new construction allows for a wider opening, Auto-Lad is now profall 2012 / NHOME /

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If this house could talk, it would dare you to compare its blazing Internet speeds to your own. You’d hear words like “killer online gaming” and “ultimate business tool.” It would brag about the ultimate technology running through it, just like thousands of other fiber optic homes in the Hill Country — all powered by GVTC. So, what would your house say? gvtc.com 800-367-4882 Internet TV Phone Security

duced in three widths and can accommodate 8” to 12” ceiling height. This demonstrates once more that “necessity is the mother of inventions.” This ladder truly changes how you view the traditional attic ladder. It goes without saying that it is an amazing product. Just think of the digital age in which we live. Everyone wants immediate service, and this ladder does just that, upon demand. At the push of a button, stairs are effortlessly placed at your feet. It’s like having the red carpet rolled out just for you. Now let’s review some of its key features. It is fully controlled by its advanced circuit board. The steps are comfortably wide, and there is a side rail to utilize just like in a staircase. A push button is placed in the attic and in the room where the ladder is installed. In addition, Auto-Lad can be controlled via a remote. For added safety, the ladder knows if there is an object in its path; if there is one, it will stop. The next push of the button will send Auto-Lad in the opposite direction. This is a user-friendly ladder system. Anyone of any age can safely operate it. Auto-Lad is a revolutionary product that provides safe and easy access to your home attic space. ■

For more information on Auto-Lad, please visit www.elairenterprises.com, email info@elairenterprises.com or call 855-288-LAIR (5247) or 210-896-2877 (local).

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/ NHOME / fall 2012


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d lea chase , 20 , an dea d at r The mber 15 ll entries nt an ion to pu ertise in e a e r c r g e u n t v D c o g a d g e m a li b a . r listin to ob ld from e winne your r no shou gible ings re unde ill be eli ed rate if t s for th li itted ile you a , you w iscount in ubm All s illion. Wh er to w n at a d io rd $1 m ing in o test sect . h t any cial con a finalist e a sp cted as le is se

fall 2012 / NHOME /

59


// real estate //

outside the box Cross-marketing real estate and philanthropic organizations can provide an ideal way for realtors to succeed both personally and professionally. // by: liz braden

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Life is so unique to each of us. We all have our own unique and individual fingerprint and our own unique personality. That’s what makes life fun: expressing ourselves and standing out. I feel the same way about my career and passion: real estate and charity work. Why are there so many homes for sale, and how do I make my listings stand apart from the rest of the pack? Since my personality is a standout type and people usually remember me, why wouldn’t I do the same with homes? Well, I have, and I strive to do


A Classic Combination From Start to Finish

summer 2 0 1 2 / N H O M E /

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Realtors are a natural fit for

fundraising efforts, volunteering and speaking for

various charities.

more every day with my outside-the-box creativity and ideas that have worked for me and my sellers. For example, a friend of mine reached out to me regarding listing his home. When we met, he said I “think outside the box,” and that his previous agent didn’t work angles like I do. My wheels were turning with possibilities on how to market the unique and modern-style home with a vintage exterior. My friends and sellers wanted me to employ another creative agent to expand the marketing reach, as two creative brains are better than one. I called my friend and associate, Kevin Crawford, to co-list with me. We decided to host a campaign fundraiser for a very dear friend of mine that incorporated all of the right eyeballs on the house. Even a handful of the San Antonio Spurs showed up, and at a price tag of $2.88 million, we really magnified the exposure and got the right people in to cross-market this fabulous home with a great cause. Marketing is so crucial to my success as a luxury home realtor in San Antonio, and charitable work is crucial to my success as an

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individual. I have discovered that combining the two passions has created the opportunity for marketing strategies that exist outside of conventional methods. As a self-proclaimed “realtor with a cause,” I have been able to enjoy the personal and financial rewards that are a direct result of doing what I love and loving what I do. Like most professionals, realtors build their careers by relying on their contacts and connections – it’s all about “who you know.” As a result, we are a natural fit for fundraising efforts, volunteering and speaking for various charities. I recently was a candidate for Woman of the Year, and to no surprise, other realtors were in the running. While there could only be one who received the top honors, the real winner was the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which we all diligently raised money to support. I have also had the distinct honor to serve on the board of Women in Medicine and Law, a grassroots organization that funds research to find a cure for breast cancer. We have even started a Federal Komen 5K race this year, and I am so honored and proud


to be a part of the event. Clients and even potential clients respect the time, effort and passion I put into these functions. Not everyone has the time to help, but real estate offers the flexibility to help the community. And let’s face it: Real estate is in every community. The level of personal commitment and unwavering dedication that exists amongst volunteers is selflessness at its finest. The organizations I am a member of and support inspire me to rise to the challenge of finding a way to incorporate their needs or causes into a listing or showing in order to help and successfully market my sellers’ property.  I have utilized listings to hold fundraising campaigns, scavenger hunts and many other cool functions that crossmarket the right potential buyer with the proper theme.   Future plans include a partnership with local animal shelters to offer a pet in need of a home with the purchase of a new home. I believe an animal is the perfect remedy to convert a house into a home, and I wholly support San Antonio becoming a no-kill city in the near future. In addition, the last scavenger hunt created an amazing positive energy and will certainly hit the calendar again shortly. Words cannot express how fortunate I feel that I am able to set my own marketing strategies and incorporate such amazing organizations that I am privileged to serve. Many marketing strategies operate on the principle that you get out of it what you put into it. However, being a realtor with a cause has resulted in more gains, both personal and professional, than could ever be measured. The relationships forged through charitable work in conjunction with real estate sales are rewarding far beyond financial measure. I am always looking for the next opportunity and am grateful to serve the very community that has supported me and my endeavors for years. Now that’s marketing creativity with a heart! Creativity is limitless, so always market with passion, as everyone’s home is truly unique. My responsibility as a realtor is to protect my sellers’ best interests. Now that’s marketing inside, outside and beyond! ■

For more information, contact Liz Braden at 210-219-5324 or bluerealtor@gmail.com.

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fall 2012 / NHOME /

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// great escapes //

Lone Star Holidays: A Guide

Whether you look to stay local or get away from it all this season, the great state of Texas has the ultimate activity and retreat for the whole family. And you don’t have to drive very far to find it. // Special to NHOME

S

taying local for the holidays ... We all know the holiday season can be a bit overwhelming with friends, family, food, decorating, parties, etc., but NHOME is here to save the day with your local holiday resource guide. Whether you opt to stay home for the holiday season or take your family for a getaway, we’ve provided a few ideas for your end-of-year fun. Starting close to home is the beautiful Joshua Creek Ranch Game Resort, where you can stay, play and savor the delicious recipes they’ve now collected in their family cookbook. The ranch opened for guests in 1990 on some of the finest hunt country in America. Over the last 20plus years, it has been developed and nurtured, resulting in a sportsmen’s paradise. Since Joe and Ann Kercheville opened Joshua Creek Ranch, guests have continuously requested recipes for the game dishes and other menu items they’ve enjoyed while dining at the ranch. Twenty-plus years of collection and refinement have resulted in this compilation of Joshua Creek Ranch’s most requested recipes. It started with Ann’s family recipes in the early years of the ranch, and over the years, a wonderful and unique array of talented cooks have added to the collection, creating new and diverse flavors and presentations each hunting season.

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Boerne Market Days

The staff at Joshua Creek Ranch strives to make each visit memorable for every guest, and the gourmet dining enjoyed at Cypress Lodge has become one of the ranch’s most unforgettable attributes. Whether it’s the mouthwa-


tering pheasant, succulent axis venison or tantalizing quail, your taste buds will dance with each delicious bite. Joshua Creek Ranch is delighted to share

these recipes for your enjoyment at home. Joshua Creek Ranch reflects the traditional rustic elegance of Texas ranches, combined with the comforts and conveniences of modern living. There’s a variety of lodging styles available, and all lodging is beautifully furnished and situated to take in spectacular views. For more information, visit www. joshuacreek.com. On your way back into town from Joshua Creek, stop by Boerne Market Days. A visit to Market Days is an experience not typical of a roadside farmers’ market with fruits and veggies. It has its own unique characteristics that offer a wide variety of vendors a venue to promote and sell their wares to visitors from all over Texas and beyond. Boerne Market Days, a flagship event for the city of Boerne, has been a monthly event for the last 15 years at Main Plaza in the historical downtown Hauptstrasse shopping district. Only 20 minutes from San Antonio on I-10 West, its 100-plus unique craftsmen, artists, chefs, musicians and other vendors draw a diverse crowd of weekend visitors

both local and from around the world who are looking for that Texas Hill Country day trip experience. Market Days operates year-round, with lots of special emphasis put on the holidays. In December, make sure to attend Christmas Market Days, followed by the Cowboy Christmas Market the next weekend. It’s the time of year that carolers, cowboys and Santa share good tidings of joy while visitors get that opportunity to hear great local musicians turning out some of the finest country tunes and yuletide favorites. Children love the “faux” snow that is created throughout weekend. Even the shop owners dress in Dickens-era attire for some holiday nostalgia during the Dickens on Main evenings. The food courts ensure no one leaves hungry, as vendors prepare everything from authentic tamales and gorditas, funnel cakes and slow-cooked barbecue hot off the smokers to fresh pork rinds (chicharron) seasoned any way you want and the best kettle corn popped in a huge iron kettle with a secret recipe for greatness. » fall 2012 / NHOME /

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Most important is the shopping, with an abundance of unique and handcrafted items. Literally, there is something for everyone, including seasonal décor from yard art to fabulous wreaths. For more information, visit www.marketdaysmgmt.com. For more of a resort weekend holiday-style stay-cation, from Boerne, take scenic Texas 46 through to 281 and stop at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa for all of your holiday indulgences. The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is the perfect place for a holiday treat or a new family holiday tradition. It is the largest JW Marriott resort in the world, boasting 1,002 richly appointed guest rooms, yet guests immediately sense the warm, relaxed spirit of the Hill Country.  From a gingerbread crafts workshop for the kids to breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus and story time with the elves, even the littlest travelers are sure to have a swell weekend. Of course, Santa is always available for photo ops, so after you enjoy Santa’s Village and the joyful sound of holiday carolers, run by Santa’s house for the souvenir of a lifetime. For those who need to recharge over the holidays and prefer to leave the kids at home, the resort’s 26,000-square-foot Lantana Spa offers 30 treatment rooms, including three couple’s treatment suites and two outdoor private treatment rooms. The menu is diverse for the holiday weary who chose to seek respite at the Lantana Spa. Such options as the hydrating fall foot relief treatment, the sugar cookie body scrub and the chocolate candy cane pedicure are available for a sweet treat. After the spa, stop at one of the onsite bars for an adult holiday treat. At the Cibolo Moon Tequila Bar, you’ll indulge in the Rudolphtini, and at the Crooked Branch Lobby Bar, the Pumpkin Spice Martini, Holiday Sangrini, Sugar Cookie Martini and Rudolphtini are sure to tickle the taste buds. For more information, visit www. jwsanantonio.com. On your way up to Austin, stop in at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines

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hyatt regency lost pines resort and spa

cibolo moon tequila bar


Texas Hill Country Wineries Holiday Wine Trail

Resort and Spa. Start a new family tradition and join Lost Pines for the annual Thanksgiving Day feast! The Thanksgiving Buffet at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines will dish up holiday favorites such as roasted turkey and cornbread stuffing, along with nontraditional-but-tasty fare such as Dr. Pepper-glazed ham and slow-roasted prime rib, as well as many other irresistible sides. You’ll also be able to satisfy your sweet tooth at our dessert station, which will be stocked with pies, cookies, cupcakes and a chocolate fountain. The best part is you’ll get to enjoy all of the Thanksgiving delights with your loved ones while leaving the cooking and cleaning to us! Over your thanksgiving weekend, the entire family can have breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy breakfast with Santa from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. After indulging in a wonderful breakfast spread, you’ll join up with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be available for a meet-and-greet, as well as photographs. While you wait to visit with jolly ol’ St. Nicholas, you can enjoy holiday-themed activities and arts and crafts such as cookie decorating, ornament making, face painting and a Christmas-themed coloring corner. This event is open to guests and the public; however, reservations are required. If you haven’t had enough of Lost Pines after all the Thanksgiving festivities, secure your New Year’s celebration before you pack up the car to head home. Book the New Year’s Eve Family Celebration Package at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa. The funand-value-filled package rate includes accommodations on Dec. 31; a tasty Texas barbecue dinner; and entry to the New Year’s Eve Jamboree and New Year’s Day breakfast for a family of four (two adults and two children under 12). Kids and grownups will have a blast making the most of these activities: carnival games for prizes; loops on the carousel and Ferris wheel; visits with resort mascots; music and dancing; fall 2012 / NHOME /

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holiday river parade

jump houses; face painting; balloon artists; s’mores roasting; and more. There will also be a beautiful fireworks display featuring a toast to new beginnings with champagne or Shiner Bock beer. (Please Note: The jamboree is limited to resort guests only.) For more information, visit www.lostpines.hyatt.com. On your way home from Austin, take a drive through the Hill Country for a day trip over to the Texas Hill Country Wineries Holiday Wine Trail. The most wanted gift of the year has now arrived, and you don’t want to miss out on your tickets. Enjoy the sounds of carols, sniff the delicious Christmas treats and bask in front of the fireplace with your favorite glass of cheer. The lights have been strung, and the trees have been trimmed. For three jolly weeks (Friday, Nov. 30 – Sunday, Dec. 16), you can partake in the self-guided tour, visiting each of the 32 Hill Country wineries. To help save on the holiday budget and ease your mind during the holiday mayhem, ticket holders will receive a 15 percent discount on three-bottle wine purchases from each winery. There is no greater gift than a handpicked wine for loved ones or yourself! There are a limited number of tickets available, and each year is sold out weeks before the trail. Don’t delay and miss out on all the joy the Texas Hill Country wineries have to offer. For more information, visit www.texaswinetrail.com. Without a doubt, San Antonians must attend the holiday River Walk events. The Holiday River Parade takes place on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. For more than 30 years, this spectacular one-hour parade along San Antonio’s River Walk has featured illuminated floats with celebrities, bands and lavishly costumed participants. The parade takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving every year. The parade follows the lighting ceremony, during which over 150,

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000 Christmas lights in over 200 trees are turned on along the River Walk. Tickets to the parade and lighting ceremony are $10 to $25, and are available for purchase online at www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com. Caroling Nights with Santa takes place from Thursday, Nov. 29, through Sunday, Dec. 2, and all participants are promised to enjoy a magical evening on the River Walk with luminarias, Christmas lights and carolers singing to everyone. Bring your camera and take a picture with Santa on a decorated river barge. Great for kids of all ages! Live entertainment and concessions will be available at Arneson River Theatre in La Villita. Enjoy the sounds of the Holiday Boat Caroling Saturday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Dec. 16. Joyous caroling fills the evening air along the San Antonio River Walk as more than 185 school, church, company and civic choral groups ring in the holidays by singing traditional carols on cruising boats. The eclectic mix of participants includes bell choirs, folk groups and Latino ensembles. Join visitors from around the world in impromptu sing-a-longs from the patios of River Walk restaurants. Takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. nightly. For more information on all things San Antonio, visit www.thesanantonioriverwalk. com. As always, we at NHOME wish you and yours a very merry holiday season. Be safe and come see us in our spring issue for all the best of springtime in Texas. ■

Note: Content and photography for this article provided by contributors from respective resort locations.


This Holiday Season Surprise the Outdoor Enthusiasts on Your Shopping List with the Ultimate Gift of A Memorable Experience at Texas’ Premier Sporting Destination

Known for the best “Best Quail Hunting in Texas”, Joshua Creek Ranch in the beautiful Texas Hill Country on the pristine Guadalupe River is just 40 minutes from San Antonio. Gift Certificates are available for exciting walk up hunts behind world-class pointing and flushing dogs with professional guides. Surprise those sporting enthusiasts on your shopping list with a fast action European-style driven pheasant shoot or Continental shoot -Fly fishing for trout or gunning on three different automatic, state-of-the-art clay shooting scenarios. Gourmet dining and lodging with spectacular views top off the ultimate outdoor experience. This Holiday Season give the gift of a memorable adventure - a customized sporting experience at Joshua Creek Ranch - Celebrating 22 years of outstanding client satisfaction and earning the Designation as a Beretta Two Trident Lodge for Excellence in Upland Bird Hunting.

BERETTA LODGE

Two Tridents - Upland Birds

(830) 537-5090

www.joshuacreek.com

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// great escapes //

A Resort for All Seasons Fall into the seasonal festivities at La Torretta Resort & Spa, which celebrates fall and winter with an actionpacked agenda featuring something for everyone. // special to nhome

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Summer has faded, along with long days by the lake, sunscreen, popsicles and most recognizably, the heat. We have traded late summer nights catching fireflies for the crisp, cool air and autumn leaves of the fall. The time for back-to-school, pumpkin carving and the sweet smells of baking are upon us. It is here, nestled in the peaceful town of Montgomery, Texas, on beautiful Lake Conroe, where La Torretta Resort & Spa can provide you with an action-packed agenda no matter the season. The festivities stretch from journeying back to medieval times with the Texas Renaissance Festival to having an old-fashioned country Christmas in historic downtown Montgomery. So whether you’re a newcomer in search of some rustic entertainment or a local who’s ready to fall into something new, we’re positive we can deliver your resort escape and every holiday need. Now doesn’t that sound inviting?  “Here ye! Here ye! We now propose a royal proclamation!” Located only a few miles away from La Torretta Resort & Spa lies the resurrected time of kings and queens, knights and dragons, here at the Texas Renaissance Festival. Held for roughly two months out of the year, the Renaissance festival encourages us to dress up, grab a turkey leg and enjoy the jousting. From Oct. 6 to Nov. 25, 2012, all beggars, peasants and gypsies are welcome to enjoy the grounds. Each of the eight weekends will consist of a theme from Oktoberfest to Celtic Christmas. There is an


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The season’s festivities stretch from journeying back to medieval times to enjoying an old-fashioned country Christmas in historic downtown Montgomery.

array of festival feasting available at the park, so dive into some humble pie. Looking for a little unique and eclectic 16thcentury shopping? Try the black market filled with merchants looking to sell some goods. For those willing to rough it, there is a camping ground, but for nobility, we suggest the king- and queen-sized beds of La Torretta. Kids of all ages are welcome, and plenty of entertainment will be provided, including stage acts, musicians and path performers. This is something you and the family definitely do not want to miss. For more information, please visit www.texrenfest.com. “Trick or treat!” Every Oct. 31, La Torretta and the community of Del Lago put on their annual Halloween costume party. There will be tons of food, fun and most importantly, candy! All kids and adults are welcome; it’s sure to be a frighteningly good time.

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Monsters aren’t having fun only on All Hallows Eve. For those adults looking for something a little more grownup for Halloween, we suggest the Conroe Monster Truck show at the Conroe Lone Star Expo Center on Oct. 19 and 20, 2012. “First Saturday” is an experience all its own. This event, held the first Saturday of every month under the trees at the Old Community Center in historic downtown Montgomery, is where you can appreciate the homemade, handmade and home-grown products the people of Montgomery have to offer. Varying from art to food and accompanied by an acoustic jam session on the porch of the Garrett House, there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy. Rounding out the end of the year on Dec. 8, 2012, Santa Claus makes his big debut in historic downtown Montgomery for the Montgomery Christmas Parade. Different vendors and individuals throughout the community come together to enjoy a bit of Christmas cheer while riding on floats through town. Don’t miss out on witnessing our classic country Christmas. December is sure to be filled with heartfelt holiday memories and the tastiest hot chocolate and cookies the South has to offer.  Springing forward, there is Concours d’Elegance, a classic car show held at La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa. The event took place at La Torretta for the first time last year, and we are proud to announce we will host the event again this year on May 5, 2013. The event weekend consists of an opening gala for those who will attend and bid in the car auction, and the next day will be the auction itself. The following day will be open to the public for all classic car enthusiasts to enjoy. Cars last year ranged from George Harrison’s Aston Martin to the modern Porsche. From knights on white horses and spooks having their annual Halloween jamboree to family-friendly “First Saturdays,” folks on floats dressed up like Eskimos and of course, Concours d’Elegance, this year is sure to be one exciting event after the next. So whether you plan on making the trip up to simply relax, rejuvenate and get away from it all or are looking for something out of the ordinary for you and your family to enjoy, La Torretta has the great rating accommodations and plans for you. So what are you waiting for? Book with us today, and become part of what everyone is talking about! ■

For booking information and more details, please visit www.latorrettalakeresort.com. fall 2012 / NHOME /

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// arts & culture //

Boerne:

A Hub of Artistic Excellence As one of Boerne’s premier fine art exhibitions, the Boerne Professional

Artist association’s Texas Hill Country Invitational serves as an

artistic and historical catalyst for the holiday shopping season. // by: Gabriel diego Delgado

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Randy Peyton

"Summer’s Bloom" Oil 18" x 24”

On Oct. 19, 20 and 21, the Boerne Professional Artist (BPA) association will once again roll out the proverbial artistically painted red carpet for the annual fall art exhibition: the Texas Hill Country Invitational. A staple in the Texas Hill Country calendar year, the invitational has demonstrated itself to be a viable and economically sustainable event for the city of Boerne, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and its venerated arts community. With a population of only 12,500 people, Boerne’s charm and reputation far outreach its quaint demographic. Known as a leading artistic community of the Texas Hill Country, alongside others like Fredericksburg, Bandera, Marble Falls, New Braunfels and Wimberley, Boerne’s talented community has made a name for itself in a self-driven visual art alliance over the past two decades. Historically, BPA (the initiator of the invitational) has a rich history nestled in the quiet yawns of Boerne’s past. Sixteen years ago in the mid ‘90s, the former mayor, the


Hon. Patrick Heath, called together the scant group of artists who called Boerne home and proposed they organize their studios, businesses, galleries and ideas in order to help further Boerne’s cultural identity as a hub of artistic excellence. The first gathering of these artists almost two decades ago occurred as an open house at the studio of Jay Hester, a nationally recognized Native American/American West painter, owner of Highland House Studios and Gallery and former organizational president. As the arts organizations of Boerne progressed, BPA, along with the Cibolo Arts Council and the Boerne Convention and Visitors Bureau, agreed they needed to have two or more major art-related events throughout the year: the Parade of Artists event in the spring and the Texas Hill Country Invitational for the fall. Fast-forward a decade and arrive at the excitement leading up to the 2012 fall art season in Boerne. Artists and representatives from galleries like J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art, Carriage House Gallery, Mudworks Pottery Studio, Texas Treasures Fine Art, Davis Art N More Gallery, Highland House Gallery and COSAS, among many more, will be on hand to showcase their art. One of the leading artists featured in the 2012 Texas Hill Country Invitational is nationally acclaimed landscape painter Randy Peyton. Peyton represents the new cohort of Texas landscape painters, leading a post-Onderdonk generation of bluebonnet bounty. Peyton has captured the Texas landscape like a scenic shaman, creating emotional and nostalgic reminiscences of days nurtured by the Texas heat, causing the viewer to relax in an art-induced medicinal meditation.

"South of Town", a 24” x 36” oil painting, which will be represented by J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art, is a classic example of Peyton’s signature style, complete with bluebonnets, live oaks, a small barn, a horse carriage trail and semiarid vegetation. Blooming bluebonnets bookend the sides of the gravel path that snakes through the painting like a question mark, pulling your eye straight to the horizon line and over to the dominant live oak on the left side of the mid-ground. To balance out the composition, Peyton places the wood-paneled brown barn opposite the ominous and mature tree. The humbled hay hangar opens its wide doors, showing a shadowed interior. Deep obscurity hides straw bales and husbandry necessities. The roof peaks and pitches slant down to a diminutive corral, vacant of any animals. Although the dirt trail shows signs of wear, the total intuitive emptiness of the location implies an abandoned site – a ranch hidden deep in the backwoods of Texas; a product of the times. The official state flower of Texas is arranged in seven neat patches of underbrush, each lining the trail to the barn. Spotted with yellow and pink flower variations, we see a deliberate attempt to establish geography without caring for a realistic rendition of regional botany. The main players of this scenic sonata are the three live oaks that secure a stoic trifecta of Quercus fusiformis, each placed in strategic areas in the composition: far left, far right and exact middle. Accented with spare cactus and an open skyline, Peyton’s work of art compels us to imagine ourselves in the typical barren desert-scape of the Southern United States, feeling the arid

Randy Peyton "Bluebonnets, Cactus" Oil 24" x 24”

“We built a solid reputation for having created a firstclass fine art show and sale in the Texas Hill Country.” heat and listening to the sounds of crickets. With previous public turnouts in the two to three hundreds, the exhibition has continually grown in reputation and population as the quality of art and artists continually spotlights Boerne as an artistic leader in the national consciousness of Texas Hill Country art identity. “Over the years and through our ongoing partnership with our home city of Boerne, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and our Hill Country Council for the Arts, we built a solid reputation for having created a first-class fine art show and sale in the Texas Hill Country,” said Donald Darst, current BPA president. “We garnered additional support, which allows

us to advertise nationally and provide what we believe will become the premier art experience in the state of Texas.” So be sure to mark your calendars to attend the unique art experience of the Texas Hill Country Invitational at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Oct. 19, 20 and 21, as Boerne’s art community comes together for an artistic amalgamation of significant proportions. ■

For more information about the Texas Hill Country Invitational, go to www.boerneprofessionalartists.com or call the Boerne Professional Artist association at 210-274-5223.

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// industry insights //

voices professionals of the

Readers and advertisers offer their thoughts after one year of NHOME Texas.

Fall 2012 marks the one-year anniversary of NHOME Texas. In celebration, we asked some of our clients and resident readers to provide their feedback on the magazine’s progress.

Jelynne LeBlancBurley

Jimmy Green

Many times I am attracted to these magazines because of the photos, layout, beautiful illustrations and great articles. This time I was not disappointed, and an added value is that it is my hometown, not some faraway place to dream about.

Adaku, I have admired you for years. Your dedication, enthusiasm, knowledge and hard work have led NHOME to become the home magazine of choice for San Antonio! The beautiful photography and extremely wellwritten and informative articles are of such high caliber that every merchant should consider advertising with you. Congrats to you and your staff!

CPS Energy

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J. Green Jewelers

Denise Graves

The Graves Group/Phyllis Browning Company Congratulations to NHOME magazine for their one-year anniversary! NHOME magazine is an outstanding venue to showcase my premier properties. Their relevant articles share the latest trends with homebuyers and sellers. Each issue features exquisite or unusual local properties. It’s the best place to make sure your home is seen by the largest audience. 

Todd Jarvis

Sterling Home Technologies We appreciate the tremendous exposure NHOME magazine has provided us this past year. They have pulled together a very professional-looking and beautifully crafted magazine that people look forward to each issue. It is so well done that people are usually willing to leave it out on their table. They target the type of customer base that everyone wants exposure to. Thank you to all the NHOME staff.


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Easton Crafts

Directions Equity, LLC Advertising with NHOME has helped brand my company to an audience that is specifically interested in real estate and the many complementary services, which include home financing. I can already quantify business earned from advertising with NHOME during its debut year in publication, which helps to justify the investment.

Keith Green

SecureTek Group Inc. This is one of the most useful and resourceful magazines on the market. When my new home was under the construction phase, I used many of the vendors who advertised with NHOME. It was basically my one-stop shop. I look forward to each release, as I know there will be something new that I can try or utilize. Thanks, NHOME, for catering to my construction and entertainment needs.

Belinda Vela-Reyna Resident Reader

NHOME Texas magazine has done an extraordinary job of showcasing luxury homes and home decorating ideas, as well as highlighting “green” living and smart home technologies. Outdoor living has taken on a dramatic new life of its own, and NHOME has done an exceptional job of providing homeowners ideas for enhancing their outdoor living spaces. Whether you are a new homeowner or just wanting to beautify your surroundings, people look for advertisements to see where they can find the vast number of amenities available today. Homeowners enjoy reading about arts and culture, as well as upcoming events. I particularly enjoyed “Texas on the Road: NHOME’s Guide to All Things Posh, Playful and Downright Texan.” I talk to homeowners all the time that tell me they look forward to reading the next NHOME Texas magazine for the reasons mentioned above. NHOME Texas magazine is great whether you are looking for simple pleasures or the ultimate in luxury living. fall 2012 / NHOME /

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Now Bringing the Bank to You

In San Antonio

Lone Star National Bank banking centers and motor banks throughout South Texas are providing the resources and the expertise to help Texas businesses grow and prosper, communities expand and invest in the future, and individuals and families succeed in achieving their dreams. Established in 1983, Lone Star National Bank has provided banking services to communities in South Texas for over 27 years. Lone Star National Bank is an independent bank with more than 2 billion in total assets and twenty-five (25) full-service banking centers throughout South Texas. Our branches in San Antonio are just another way we bring the bank to you by giving you the convenience you want and the service you need; including local banking decisions and a full range of business and consumer products and services. Come by and meet our outstanding team of bankers. Lone Star National Bank…Bringing the Bank to You in San Antonio.

San Antonio Locations 40 NE Loop 410, Suite 408 • 7954 Fredericksburg Road • 10000 San Pedro, Bldg 2 1-800-580-0322  www.lonestarnationalbank.com fall 2012 / NHOME /

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// finance //

Mortgage Interest Rates

They keep dropping ‌ but how are they set? // by: easton crafts

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I

t is almost unbelievable to see how low 15- and 30-year mortgage interest rates are nowadays. While the average 15-year rate has now reached territory south of 3 percent, you may question how long they will stay this low and how the rates are set, anyway. Once a mortgage loan is closed, it is typically packaged in a bundle with other like mortgage loans to create a mortgage-backed security. This security can then be sold on Wall Street to investors much the same way treasury bills, stocks and bonds are sold. It is the price for which these mortgagebacked securities can trade that ultimately dictates the yield or interest rate that then trickles down to today’s interest rate environment. Similar to stocks and bonds, mortgage rates are subject to fluctuation; then it becomes a simple concept of supply and demand. Just like any other commodity, good or service, if demand increases, the price will eventually increase, too. The extra wrinkle in this equation, though, is that an increase in price of mortgage-backed security is good for interest rates because the


The price for which mortgagebacked securities can trade ultimately dictates

the yield or interest rate that then trickles down to today’s interest rate environment. increase in price means yields or interest rates decrease. Factors that have led to a decrease in interest rates over the last few years have been attributed to a struggling stock market at first to the Federal Reserve stepping in, followed by a complement of a struggling global economy and more particularly, the European Union. The Federal Reserve implemented a strategy called Quantitative Easing over the last few years, and will continue for the next couple years in an effort to keep interest rates low. While they can’t control mortgage interest rates as easily as auto loan rates, for example, the complement of a struggling Europe has helped their cause. Demand has been created in the mortgage-backed securities market by Quantitative Easing, which is a process of the government stepping into the market to purchase these securities, which helps drive the price up and the yield (interest rate) down. As an added bonus to mortgage-backed securities, the European Union, as well documented, is in a bit of disarray. Investors, which also include countries looking to invest money, look to put their money in safer securities such as bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Many may not consider Europe a safe place for such a low-risk investment, so they have turned to the United States to place their bet. It is this extra infusion of demand that has created a perfect storm of variables to bring us where our mortgage interest rates are today, which is at the lowest levels on record. ■

For more information about mortgage loans, contact Easton Crafts at easton@directionsequity.com or 210-257-0642. You may also visit www.directionsequity.com for payment calculators, qualification scenarios and online application.

Opening Doors to the American Dream

Purchase

Jumbo Loans

Refinance

Conventional

Construction

FHA

Home Equity

VA

Renovation

USDA

Easton Crafts, CEO 18730 Stone Oak Pkwy, Ste 208 San Antonio, TX 78258 Ph. 210-257-0642 easton@directionsequity.com NMLS# 220151

www.directionsequity.com

fall 2012 / NHOME /

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// events //

gsaba September Mixer Hosted by Triton Stone Group // photography: jason roberts GSABA mixers are held every other month at different showrooms for GSABA members and nonmembers to network. On Sept. 20, Triton Stone Group hosted a great mixer at its location on 127 W. Nakoma. If you would like to host a mixer or learn where the next one will be located, contact GSABA at 210-696-3800. 3

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1/ Dale Sauer, Dale Sauer Homes; Emily Grones, Ferguson; Jeff Aykroyd, Jeff Aykroyd Homes; Nikki Kutach, Trinity Title; and Gran Brooks, Ferguson 2/ Don and Nell Craighead, Don Craighead Homes 3/ GSABA President Jim Leonard, Greenboro Homes, and Bryan Smith, Vision Design and Build 4/ Linda Strickel, Bonded Builders Home Warranty; Steve Louis, Bella Vista Homes; and DeWayne Krawl, MLAW 5/ Dawn Boyle, First National Bank, and Roy Richard, SWBC 6/ Dale Lucus, SWBC Mortgage; Jennifer Crowe, Triton Stone Group; and adaku okoro 7/ David Anderson, David Anderson Homes, and Craig Noto, Quality Fence & Welding

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2012 FALL PARADE OF HOMES AT SETTERFELD ESTATES An exclusive gated, private community, Setterfeld Estates is one of the newest and most luxurious neighborhoods in Fair Oaks Ranch. It’s a unique environment of pastoral greenbelts and preserves.

Setterfeld E S TAT E S

Fall Parade of Homes October 20-28 ParadeofHomesSanAntonio.com

Save the Date for the 2013 Spring Parade of Homes - May 18-27 Location: Palacios at Cibolo Canyons

Wooded custom home lots located close to the JW Marriott hill country resort and spa and the community’s Multi million dollar Amenity Center. Cibolocanyons.com ParadeofHomesSanAntonio.com

summer 2 0 1 2 / N H O M E /

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// events //

Platinum Top 50

Hosts a Top Producer Speed Panel

On Friday, Sept. 21, Platinum Top 50, a real estate marketing firm, hosted a Top Producer Speed Panel in front of 225 San Antonio real estate professionals at the Greater San Antonio Builders Association.  The panel topics had an industry-specific aim, targeting complicated tax questions, lending obstacles, marketing strategies and area real estate markets.  Platinum Top 50 is a network of professionals who annually recognize the top 50 real estate agents in the San Antonio and Austin areas. ■

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For more information, visit www.platinumtop50.com. 3 6

4

5 1/ Robin Saunders, Keller Williams Realty Luxury, and Pattie Walker, Kuper Sotheby's International Realty 2/ JonPaul Martin, Kuper Sotheby's International Realty, and Chad Hughes, ERA Colonial Real Estate 3/ Ruth Cole, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Bradfield Properties; Barbara Del Amo, Keller Williams Legacy; Cathy Naiser, Keller Williams City View; Jeanine Claus, Keller Williams Heritage; Cathy Cole, RE/MAX North San Antonio; and Tami Stillings, Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper Realtors 4/ Haley Catlett, Keller Williams City View; Andrea Gimblet, Platinum Top 50; Cathy Bell, Phyllis Browning Company; and Corie Boldt, Corie Properties 5/ Craig Blakeley, Keller Williams City View; Kevin Crawford, Keller Williams Realty Luxury; Josh Boggs, Keller Williams Heritage; and Paula Christo, Keller Williams Heritage 6/ Linda Rudd, United Lending, and Amber Thomas, Platinum Top 50

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KATE’S FROSTING ON N. MAIN AVE. 2518 North Main Avenue San Antonio 210.248.9809 ON BROADWAY 7701 Broadway Street San Antonio 210.549.3926

Purchase | Refinance | Construction | Reverse

Robert V. Dunn

Mortgage Banker NMLS# 228165 direct 210.409.8928 Robert.Dunn@SenteMortgage .com www.SenteMortgage.com

www.katesfrosting.net 14100 San Pedro, Suite 510 | San Antonio, TX 78232 | 210.496.2220

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// events //

Upcoming Holiday Events Your source for all things seasonal in the Alamo City

Oct. 5 – Oct. 28 (9 a.m. to 11 p.m.) Howl-O-Scream Sea World For details, visit http:// seaworldparks.com/en/seaworldsanantonio/HowloScream.

Oct. 20 – 28 Parade of Homes at Setterfeld Estates The Parade of Homes is San Antonio’s premier new home event, conducted by the Greater San Antonio Builders Association (GSABA) and presented by CPS Energy to provide ideas and information in an attractive community with a variety of spectacular houses by San Antonio builders. Each year, GSABA varies the parade site, providing new and exciting locales for visitors to experience. Join us this fall at Setterfeld Estates for a festival featuring hayrides, pumpkin decorating and much more! Setterfeld Estates is a new gated private community in Fair Oaks Ranch, which features everything from great schools and great golf courses to a country club. For more information, visit http://www. sabuilders.com/displaycommon. cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=295#.

Oct. 28 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) BOOtanica and Plant Sale This is the final plant sale at San Antonio Botanical Garden for the year. Fall is an excellent time to establish perennials, so don’t miss this last chance to stock up on unusual plants, as well as local favorites, including Texas natives and water-savers. Bring the kids in costume to enjoy BOOtanica Fall Festival at the Garden. To learn more, contact Tracy Lowe at 210-247-7599 or tracy@ blackpearlintelligence.com.

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Nov. 8 (8 p.m.) The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi

Nov. 16 – Dec. 31 Sea World’s Christmas Celebration

The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi are a percussion ensemble from the tiny country of Burundi in Central Africa. They have performed in the same way for centuries, passing down traditions and techniques for generations. “A constant parade of players improvised on the central drum, dancing to the rhythms, leaping or twirling drumsticks in the air or around their necks. It was all a celebration of ability, the sheer pleasure of competitive creativity and – strikingly similar to what happens in a jazz jam session – more virtuosic than sentimental.” – New York Times “From a tiny country in Central Africa comes one of the most gifted and celebrated percussion ensembles in the world.” – Manassas Patch

Sea World San Antonio is decking the halls for its annual Christmas celebration, a magical holiday program offered on scheduled operating days. Enjoy stunning live shows in our wintery, watery wonderland. Immerse your family in the spirit of the season, and sip hot cocoa as you stroll through a sea of sparkling Christmas lights and share laughs with a jolly sea lion. For more information, visit http:// seaworldparks.com/en/seaworldsanantonio/Events/SeaWorldsChristmas-Celebration.

Nov. 16, 17 and 18 (2 p.m.), Nov. 23 and 24, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 (7:30 p.m.) “Dashing Thru the Snow” It’s four days before Christmas in the tiny town of Tinsel, Texas, and a colorful parade of eccentric guests arrive at the Snowflake Inn and deck the halls with holiday hilarity. Trina, the harried, yet upbeat innkeeper, has more than she can handle coping with these nuttier-than-a-fruitcake lodgers, the Futrelle sisters and their best friend, Raynerd. The show takes a surprising and delightful turn that leads to a laugh-’til-your-sidesache climax, changing all their lives forever. Show takes place at HCAF – Point Theater in Ingram, Texas. For more information, contact Lorenzo Nicholos at 830-367-5121 or boxoffice@hcaf.com.

Nov. 19 and 20 Private Two-Day Couture Trunk Show Join J. Green Jewelers at 1207 N. Loop 1604 W., Ste. 109, for the company’s private two-day couture trunk show. Limited VIP appointments are available. Please call 210-492-0022 to RVSP.

Nov. 19 – Jan. 6 Light the Way at University of the Incarnate Word A million twinkling lights will illuminate the night sky at University of the Incarnate Word to celebrate the holiday season in style. This walking or driving experience has been going on for more than two decades, and is truly a San Antonio-style holiday event. Free. For more information, call the university’s office of public relations at 210-829-6001.

Nov. 23 (7 p.m.) Ford Holiday River Parade For more than 30 years, this spectacular one-hour parade along San Antonio’s River Walk has featured illuminated floats with celebrities, bands and lavishly

costumed participants. Fun for all ages. Price: $10 to $25. For more information, contact Edward Leos at 210-244-5700 or edward@ riosanantonio.com.

Nov. 25 – Dec. 1 Eighteenth Annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza San Antonio’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is an eight-day mariachi music festival that features the best mariachi music in the world. The event dates back to 1979, when the world-renowned, Mexico Citybased Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán performed in San Antonio in what was established as the first mariachi festival of its kind in the United States. San Antonio’s Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is now the largest and longest-running mariachi music festival of its kind in Texas, and serves as host to the largest and most competitive mariachi group and vocal competitions in the United States. The festival culminates with a live concert featuring El Mejor Mariachi del Mundo, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán and competition winners. Takes place at the Lila Cockrell Theatre. For more information, call 210-225-3353.

Dec. 1 (8:30 a.m.) San Antonio 5K Santa Bookie The San Antonio 5K Santa Boogie is a timed run in downtown San Antonio at HemisFair Park. Partial proceeds will be donated to the Elf Louise Christmas Toy Project and the Kathryn Brown Cancervive Foundation. Registration will include a full Santa Claus costume (shirt, pants, belt, hat and beard), and prizes will be awarded in multiple categories. Open to adults and children of all ages – run, walk, boogie! Volunteers are also needed for the day of the event. Please contact Belinda Benavidez at 210-


Come savor and enjoy the German Christmas atmosphere in this traditional Christmas market with food, beverages, music, entertainment and shopping at Beethoven Maennerchor Halle und Garten. Free. For more information, call 210-222-1521.

holiday season with his quintet performing classic Christmas songs and selections from Neville’s newest gospel release, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” as well as hits from throughout his career. “Aaron Neville has been described by critics as possessing one of the most splendid falsetto-tinged tenors in pop music.” – New York Times “Aaron Neville is one of the great American singers of the past 50 years.” – The Telegraph

Dec. 2 (3 p.m.) Winter Magic

Dec. 7 (10 a.m.) Old Fashion Christmas

446-8806 for more information, or register online.

Dec. 1 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Christkindlmarkt

Start your holiday festivities with a celebration of favorite songs and carols at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church! All Children’s Chorus of San Antonio choirs will perform in our most popular celebration of the season. Bring your singing voice, as you never know when the audience may join along in song. For more information, call 210-826-3447.

Dec. 6 (8 p.m.) Christmas with Aaron Neville Aaron Neville will be on tour this

Historic Castroville’s 29th Annual Old Fashion Christmas will be held on the first Friday and Saturday of December at Houston Square. For more information, call 830-5383142 or email ashlee@catroville. com.

Dec. 7 (5 p.m.) Oktoberfest San Antonio Come to Beethoven Maennerchor and savor and enjoy German gemütlichkeit during Southtown’s First Friday Art Walk. Music, food and dancing will put you in the

spirit. And to fill your stein, we offer many German wines and beers, their American counterparts and a variety of soft drinks. For more information, call 210-222-1521 or visit http://thebeethoven.org.

Dec. 11 (8 p.m.) Billy Elliot The Musical Thrilling audiences worldwide and winning two 2009 Tony awards, including Best Musical, “the best show you will ever see” (New York Post) is coming to San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre. Billy Elliot The Musical is joyous celebration of one young boy’s journey to make his dreams come true. Set in a small town, the story follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, discovering a surprising passion that inspires his family and his whole community. For more information, contact Jean McIver, marketing director, at 210226-5700.

Dec. 28 (7 p.m.) and Dec. 29 (2 p.m. and 7 p.m.) Moscow Ballet: The Great Russian Nutcracker

Majestic Theatre in San Antonio. For more information, contact Sally Keyes at sally@nutcracker.com.

Dec. 29 Twentieth Annual Valero Alamo Bowl Major college football comes to the Alamodome in San Antonio. The Valero Alamo Bowl is a post-season collegiate bowl game featuring the No. 2 Pac-12 Conference selection (after the Rose Bowl) and the No. 3 Big 12 pick (after the Fiesta and Cotton Bowls). The bowl has quickly become one of the most popular bowls in the country, producing some of the most-watched bowl games in ESPN history while selling out four of the last six years. For more information, contact Hannah Case, media relations coordinator, at 210-704-6389.

Dec. 31 Sea World’s New Year’s Eve Twilight Party For details, visit http:// seaworldparks.com/en/seaworldsanantonio/Park-Info/Park-Hours.

The Moscow Ballet comes to the

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Select evenings Nov. 17 – Dec. 31

Join Us Where the Season Meets the Sea.

Feel the festive holiday spirit during Shamu® Christmas – Miracles. Laugh along with our sea lions at Clyde and Seamore’s Countdown to Christmas. And don’t miss A Dolphin Christmas. It’s a holiday tradition the whole family will enjoy.

Unwrap the Fun. Pay for a Day. Get Now Through 2013 FREE. Learn more at SeaWorldSanAntonio.com. © 2012 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.

fall 2012 / NHOME /

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* Requires membership contract and initiation deposit.

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NHOME Texas Fall 2012