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of Distinction


Featuring Mike Hollaway Custom Homes and The Dominion

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“Custom home building is an art. I strive to create exclusive designs and features, integrating quality materials and craftsmanship to build a home that reflects your personality and lifestyle needs.” - Mike Hollaway President

Unparalleled Knowledge and Expertise

Established in 1992, Mike Hollaway Custom Homes has received expansive recognition with some of the most prestigious awards in custom home building for exceptional craftsmanship and design innovation. With more than 30 years of industry knowledge and expertise, Mike Hollaway holds the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) designations of Graduate Master Builder (GMB) and Certified Green Professional (CGP). Awards of distinction include: 1998 Distinguished Single-Family Builder of the Year, 2008 Builder of the Year and numerous Texas Star Awards, Summit Awards and The Greater San Antonio Builders Association (GSABA) Parade of Homes Awards, including People’s Choice, and Realtor’s Choice Awards.


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Mike Hollaway, President 2511 N. Loop 1604 W., Suite 200 San Antonio, Texas 78258 210.490.0069

25 years of expressing your personal style


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/ NHOME july//august 2013

july // august 2013 texas nhome magazine


Builder: Mike Hollaway Custom Homes Development: The Dominion

features 22 custom homes

Distinctive Developments NHOME's list of standout developments and neighborhoods in San Antonio and the Hill Country, featuring Mike Hollaway Custom Homes and The Dominion, has something to suit any preference from the hustle and bustle of the tri-city area to the elegance of luxury ranch-style living.

58 finance

The All-Stars: Lone Star National Bank

60 finance

The Financial Continuum Mortgage planner Linda L. Rudd offers advice on how to get back to the basics, take charge of your finances and achieve financial peace.

72 community inspiration A Joyful Surprise

Three families share their powerful stories of adoption and the joys that decision has brought them.

Three decades after opening for business, the bank continues its commitment to supporting individuals and small businesses that contribute to the growth of their communities across South Texas. july//august 2013 NHOME /


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

Custom Homes 28 Builders of Preference

nhome staff

Home Decorating 32 Style and Substance 34 High Class, High Design

Green 36 The Best Green in the Best 'Hoods

Real Estate 40 No Regrets executive editor


Erin O’Brien


creative director Elisa Giordano

Industry Insights 54 Voices of the Professionals

Arts & Culture 64 A Dynamic Decade of Directorship

Great Escapes 68 Last-Minute Luxury


senior graphic designer

74 Mix and Mingle 75 Grand Celebration 76 Ultimate Experiences

Cristina Villa Hazar

marketing assistant photography: Jason Roberts


/ NHOME july//august 2013

Valerie Ragsdale

graphic designer Damaris Fike

intern Michelle Rosales

Take Ownership of Your Active Lifestyle…

Affordable, Unique & Sophisticated Retirement Living in San Antonio

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San Antonio, TX 78209 I n d e p e n d e n t

The convenience of city living and the quiet charm of a resort lifestyle flow together at The Towers on Park Lane. Conveniently located near Alamo Heights, Ft. Sam Houston and downtown San Antonio. The Towers is surrounded by fine dining, The Quarry shopping center, and is the prime location for an active lifestyle. The Towers caters to both civilian and military individuals age 50 and over.

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Call us for questions and to schedule your private consultation. Let our staff help you make your move to The Towers a smooth transition.

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july//august 2013 NHOME /


Your Vision Becomes a Reality at Lone Star National Bank Home Mortgage NATASJA FIKE

Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS#513609

Owning your own home, a place to start a family and create memories, is still the American dream. At Lone Star National Bank Home Mortgage we make reaching that dream easier with competitive rates and personal service. Our experienced Mortgage Loan Originators will show you just how easy home buying can be at Lone Star National Bank Home Mortgage.

CLAUDYA GUTIERREZ Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS#208591

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/ NHOME july//august 2013

featured builder

and development

Mike Hollaway Custom Homes and The Dominion

llb designs is the preferred designer for Mike Hollaway Custom Homes Mike Hollaway Custom Homes is a family-owned business that builds throughout the San Antonio area, with current projects in Boerne, New Braunfels, Cordillera Ranch, Champions Ridge, Canyon Springs, Rogers Ranch, the Dominion, Cresta Bella and more, and with future projects from Austin to Horseshoe Bay. They have projects in South Texas from as far west as Laredo, Uvalde and Eagle Pass, and from the Eagle Ford Shale area as far east as Alice. Mike Hollaway Custom Homes will build approximately 30 homes this year priced from the high $300s to $5 million, with an average of $1.1 million. Currently, about 85 percent of their business is custom, with 40 percent repeat and referral.

july//august 2013 NHOME /


// a note from the publisher //


s I have lived in the East Coast and in the Midwest and have had the opportunity to visit other parts of the country from the Far West to the Southeast, I can say with confidence and excitement that our part of the country has some of the most exquisite developments and neighborhoods for the best value! Whether you are a resident who is considering your next neighborhood to call home or a potential resident who is interested in buying a permanent or getaway home, we hope our cover article is informative for you. The cover itself features a Mike Hollaway custom home built in The Dominion, but within the article, NHOME shares brief descriptions of several other upscale to medium-level developments and neighborhoods to suit any style and taste. San Antonio is home to some of the best builders in the business who offer a broad variety of exterior and interior designs to suit any family’s needs. The Greater San Antonio Builders Association (GSABA) is a useful resource that provides a list of beautiful developments and trusted, notable builders. We are fortunate that our real estate is increasing in numbers for both sellers and buyers. This is certainly a favorable time to do your research and choose the development and part of town that fit financially and have the perfect amenities for you. In each issue, NHOME proudly shares the stories of our clients who are helping make a difference in the community by giving back and/or inspiring others to reach out and help. Be sure to read the stories in our Community Inspiration section to see who in our industry has touched the lives of others. Perhaps they will inspire you to find a way to make a difference yourself. And before the summer is over, take some time to relax and re-group. NHOME’s Great Escapes section shares some fun local getaway sites you can add to your list. When you go to lounge on the beach or to enjoy some indoor R&R at a cool, relaxed resort, take our publication with you and email us about your favorite development. And as always, we would love to hear about any of your home design and real estate story ideas. With sincere appreciation of your support,

Adaku Okoro, publisher


/ NHOME july//august 2013

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Local. Legendary. Lasting.

NH ME texas

july // august 2013

ceo/nside media productions Eliot Garza


Adaku Okoro

executive editor Erin O’Brien

creative director Elisa Giordano

senior graphic designer Cristina Villa Hazar

graphic designer Damaris Fike

marketing assistant Valerie Ragsdale

contributing writers

Far from ordinary, Close to perfection. Meet one-on-one with Sitterle architects to design your custom home. From the doorbell to the back door, we ensure your new home expresses your personal style with the amenities and comforts you deserve. Make your appointment for your next home by calling 210-714-1507 or visit

Gabriel Diego Delgado Lara L. B. Hart Rita Zenzen Heck Paulette Jemal Paige Koerner Erin O'Brien Chinyere Okoro Linda L. Rudd Kim Young

contributing photographers Jason Roberts Manuel Serrata


Michelle Rosales Christopher Sullaway

editorial interns London Prince Katrina Torres For advertising information, please call 210.568.9688 or email For editorial comments and suggestions, please email 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 NSIDE Media Productions. All rights reserved. Reproduction without the expressed written permission of the publisher is prohibited. / NHOME july//august 2013

Expect Exceptional Expect much more from your luxury real estate company.

If a move is in your future, or you would like a professional market evaluation of your home, call – or visit our website and discover why Phyllis Browning Company is the very best!

• Fully-independent, family-owned company with almost 25 years of residential real estate leadership experience • Success through proven, results-based strategy • More Phyllis Browning Company Realtors® in San Antonio’s Top 50* than any other real estate company

• Average sales production per agent higher than any other San Antonio real estate company*


Since 1989



Average sales per agent, other leading real estate companies

Average sales per agent, Phyllis Browning Company

* Information based on sales reported in the San Antonio Business Journal, March 2013.


Enjoy a lifestyle like no other at The Broadway, including features you won’t find anywhere else, such as residential concierge services, resort-style amenities, guest suites for visitors and the best views in San Antonio! Call exclusive listing broker Jennifer Shemwell at 210-824-7878 for a private viewing.

15th floor luxury condo • 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths • Approx. 1,882 sq. ft. • Spa-like bath with separate tub and walk-in shower • Floor-to-ceiling windows • Laundry / mud room • Private balconies • Multiple closets • Fabulous views

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j ly//august 2013 NHOME / 1


// contributors //

paige koerner

Paulette Jemal is a global property specialist and a member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. With a degree in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, she is also a writer/ producer for Telemundo and a freelance writer for a number of Hispanic advertising agencies. Jemal is currently one of the luxury specialists at Keller Williams Luxury International at the Dominion. Fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, English and Portuguese, she lists and sells property worldwide.

linda l. rudd

lara l. B. hart

With more than 20 years of accomplished residential lending, her certified financial planning (CFP) certification and the strong and reputable engine of Legacy Mutual Mortgage, Linda Rudd provides the insight to plan the right mortgage to suit the financial needs for her full range of clientele with the utmost care and foresight. She consistently tops the San Antonio Business Journal’s list of top lenders, and with her family’s support, her commitment to the local arts and her passion for her industry, she also serves as a trusted advisor and presenter in the real estate and financial industries.


paulette jemal

Paige Koerner has lived in San Antonio for the last 30 years. She is an English and special education teacher who has taught for the last 11 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2001.

Lara L. B. Hart of LLB Interiors has performed interior design and flooring sales and installation in San Antonio and the surrounding area since 1988. She performs commercial work, including medical, banking and restaurants. Never repeating her design is always a goal, and the biggest compliment she can receive is when a client wants to copy the model – that’s when she knows she has done her job. Hart has won numerous design awards over the years, including a place in the San Antonio Business Journal’s “top 40 under 40.” She is also involved in the San Antonio community, having supported and worked with the wounded warriors facility at BAMC. She has been married to her husband, who works in the flooring industry, for more than 17 years, and they have three children. They live in one of her builder’s models.

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chinyere okoro

Chinyere Okoro is a junior English major and psychology minor at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She is a former editorial intern at NHOME who has contributed to articles for NFit magazine in the past. She plans to attend law school after graduation, focusing on intellectual property, and she hopes to then begin a career in fashion law or corporate law.

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.

erin o'brien

Erin O’Brien is the executive editor of all of the magazines published by NSIDE Publications, including NHOME Texas. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) with a bachelor’s in communication arts with a concentration in journalism and a minor in art history. She has received several professional honors, including a place in the Irish Echo’s Top 40 Under 40 (2011), a UIW alumna spotlight and the Monahan Media Studies Award for Journalism.

kim young

Kim Young, a native Texan, is a broker/associate with BH&G RE Bradfield Properties who has been assisting luxury buyers and sellers in the San Antonio and Hill Country areas since 1999. She is a third-year recipient of the coveted Five Star Professional Award for customer service and a past recipient of the Platinum Top 50 award. She is a mother of four, including twin daughters who recently turned 21. In addition to her real estate career, she is an author and co-author of the Creating Machine series, and she writes for various publications and websites.

rita zenzen heck

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.

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Nelson Enochs

// advisory board //


denise graves

Peggy Zettner

easton crafts

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.

San Antonio native Peggy Zettner has been in the wholesale interior design industry for more than 21 years. As president of Interior Trade Cartel Inc. (ITC) for the past 17-plus years, she has seen many changes in the local interior design market. And business has never been better. Zettner has always felt there was a need to bring more design product to the trade in San Antonio. ITC currently represents more than 100 lines of product. ITC is an ASID industry partner, and it is very involved in the community. As a wife, mother, daughter, sister and aunt, Zettner stays pretty busy. She loves entertaining family and friends, and her newest passion has been getting involved personally in the community. Her two biggest passions are CASA and Wounded Warriors.

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.

trish najim

edna de saro

barry denton

As a realtor and certified luxury home marketing specialist, Trish Najim prides herself in providing her clients a service to best assist them with their real estate needs regardless of whether they are sellers or buyers. Najim is with Keller Williams Realty Luxury International in San Antonio, and she is also a certified staging consultant and an interior design consultant. With her design background, she is able to work with buyers to visualize themselves in the home of their dreams, and to help sellers make their homes appealing to buyers. 

Edna De Saro is the senior vice president of Lone Star National Bank. As marketing director of one of the fastest growing banks in Texas, De Saro is involved in the development and implementation of all strategic marketing objectives that include corporate branding, public relations and market positioning.

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.

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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.

paulette jemal Paulette Jemal is a global property specialist and a member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. With a degree in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, she is also a writer/producer for Telemundo and a freelance writer for a number of Hispanic advertising agencies. Jemal is currently one of the luxury specialists at Keller Williams Luxury International at the Dominion. Fluent in Spanish, French, Italian, English and Portuguese, she lists and sells property worldwide.

special advertising section


G i ve y o u r k i t chen a bre a k t on i g h t a nd d i ne w i t h u s

july//august 2013 NHOME /


Frederick Costa continues to write his love sonnets in fine cuisine and wine and the latest creation is not only a new look for Frederick’s Restaurant — complete with a fresh menu featuring his latest French and Asian favorites offering a variety of tastes to try.

// advisory board // 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.

Rev. Dr. Claudette Copeland 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.

Gabriel Diego Delgado

To make reservations call #210.885.3782 M O N D AY T H R O U G H F R I D AY: 11:30 a.m. — 2:00 p.m. lunch 5:30 p.m. — 10:00 p.m. dinner S AT U R D AY: 5:30 p.m. — 10:00 p.m. dinner


/ NHOME july//august 2013

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.

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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 20

/ NHOME july//august 2013

The Graves Group The art of luxury residential real estate ranCho palo alto – Amazing Fredericksburg estate on 17.5 acres with seasonal creek frontage. 4 bedrooms, 6 baths, antique wood floors, interior stone wall accents and beamed ceilings. Guest house and 4-stall horse barn. $2,500,000

ranCho palo alto – Almost 7,000 sq. ft. luxury estate on 14 acres designed by Rhotenberry Wellen.5 bedrooms, 6.5 baths, 3 living areas with granite and concrete floors, walls of windows. Artist’s paradise includes studio and gallery space. $2,495,000

Menger SpringS – Paul Allen model home on over 1 acre with exceptional architectural detail. 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, Oklahoma stone floors and porches, luxurious custom finish throughout. Gracious living, indoors and out. $885,000

Denise Graves,

Cordillera ranCh – Stylish elegance on 3.9 acres. Sophisticated 5 bedroom, 6.5 bath luxury home offers fabulous spaces for living and entertaining, indoors and out and incredible custom architectural features throughout. $899,900

RealtoR®, CLHMS, CRS, ABR, GRI I I office: j u210-698-4700 l y / / a u g u s t 2cell: 0 1 3210-260-2176 NHOME / 2 1

// custom homes //


Developments of Distinction From hotbeds of Fiesta royalty events to elegant, ranch-style living in the hills, the vibrant San Antonio and Hill Country areas offer a number of beautiful neighborhoods and developments to suit any taste. // by: Kim Young


/ NHOME july//august 2013


oving to a new city or state can be a little daunting. You may have even found yourself thinking, ‘Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.’ The following is the Dominion and more of San Antonio’s finest developments and neighborhoods of distinction, where houses don’t just fall out of the sky.

Dominion Home prices start in the low $400s for a townhouse and rise to $7,500,000 for a home boasting 12,000-plus square feet. The Dominion is one of the most exclusive 24-hour guard-gated communities in San Antonio. The Dominion Country Club features dining, a world-class golf course, tennis and swimming.

the golf course at dominion

the dominion is one of the most exclusive 24-hour guard-gated communities in san antonio. Alamo Heights Nestled about five miles north of downtown are three affluent incorporated towns surrounded by San Antonio. Alamo Heights and its sister towns, Terrell Hills and Olmos Park, are part of AHISD. Homes in this area go back to the early 1900s. Olmos Park particularly is known for its English stone cottages, many of which were built by developer H.C. Thorman in the 1930s. Fiesta is a citywide event each year in San Antonio, and the tri-city area is a hotbed of Fiesta royalty events. The large premier Alamo Quarry Market is a lifestyle shopping center you won’t want to miss.

Anaqua Springs Ranch This “environmentally preserved community” is just minutes from San Antonio, and it features majestic custom homes on 1-plus-acre lots and breathtaking views.

tennis courts at dominion

july//august 2013 NHOME /


cordillera ranch

Bentley Manor

Cibolo Canyons

This is a former San Antonio Parade of Homes gated community within the city of Shavano Park. Homes range in price from $300,000 for a garden home to more than $2 million. It’s just minutes from 1604 and IH-10.

Discover the current Parade of Homes in the luxury community at Palacio, which is located along TPC Parkway in far north San Antonio. It is an established master-planned golf resort community that features a fabulous recreation center. The area is home to the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa and two PGA TOUR TPC golf courses.

Boot Ranch Hidden away in Fredericksburg, you’ll find luxurious and casually elegant Texas ranch-style living. Famous for their Sunday Houses inspired by original Fredericksburg settlers, this resort-type living community features a premier golf course, springfed lakes and natural beauty home sites.

Champions Ridge This desirable neighborhood features estate homes and fantastic views of downtown San Antonio and Stone Oak Park, and its homes range in price up to $2 million. It is a former Parade of Homes gated community close to the Canyon Springs Golf Course.


/ NHOME july//august 2013

Cresta Bella This gated neighborhood features Hill Country views and a location just off IH-10, minutes from Six Flags Fiesta Texas, USAA and the Medical Center. Prices range from the $300s to $1,000,000.

Cordillera Ranch If you’re looking for acreage and the beauty of the Texas Hill Country, it’s just 16 minutes from The Shops at La Cantera, the best in outdoor shopping, dining and entertaining that San Antonio offers. It’s an exclusive, master-planned community that offers the very finest in resort-style living. The Clubs of Cordillera feature the acclaimed Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, swimming and tennis, a spa and fitness facility, a guns and rod club, a river club offering fishing and river sports and an equestrian club with boarding available.

cibolo canyons

july//august 2013 NHOME /


johnson ranch

Estancia at Thunder Valley This stunning acreage development in Boerne offers exclusive facilities, including an equestrian center, a fully equipped gymnasium, athletic facilities, outdoor courts and fields, Par 3 golf and skeet.

Fair Oaks Ranch The city of Fair Oaks Ranch is just minutes north of San Antonio. In the 1930s, oilman and rancher Ralph E. Fair owned the 5,000-acre ranch and was known to entertain the likes of Clark Gable. The Fair Oaks Ranch Country Club resides in the original ranch house. The club features two championship 18-hole golf courses, 14 lighted tennis courts, two swimming pools, a fitness facility and outdoor entertaining, as well as fine and casual dining options. Housing prices start in the $260s and top at more than $2,000,000. There are a variety of styles ranging from small garden homes to executive custom homes on half an acre to more than 5 acres.


King William Subdivided into lots in the 1860s, King William is a historic neighborhood near the heart of downtown. Its large, impressive houses are shaded by enormous pecan and cypress trees.

Menger Springs Just off the IH-10 access road in Boerne is a relaxed country executive gated neighborhood. Custom home prices can range from $450,000 to $1,500,000.

Summerglen These are luxury homes in a relaxed setting with a park of natural beauty that promotes fitness and fun with neighbors and family.

Stone Creek Ranch is a newer executive development in Fair Oaks. This gated neighborhood has 1- to 2-acre estate home sites with quality restrictions, a clubhouse with gym, a lazy river pool and a 16-acre park.

Waterford Heights

Fair Oaks Ranch is in Boerne Independent School District. The newest housing section is called The Front Gate, and it features four new home construction builders. Plans are in process for a new elementary school to service this growing community.

Luxury living in this gated community features a recreation center with a pavilion, a 25-meter swimming pool and tennis, basketball and sand volleyball courts, as well as a playground and a 22-acre green belt.

/ NHOME july//august 2013

stone creek

New Developments San Antonio and the surrounding Hill Country are vibrant and growing. With increased builder confidence, new developments continue to please even the most discerning homebuyers.

The Canyons at Scenic Loop This gated subdivision located in Northside ISD has easy access to downtown, La Cantera and Six Flags Fiesta Texas. It features lot sizes from .5 to 1.5, underground utilities, large oaks and beautiful views.

Cascada This is a gated development with amenities like no other, and where else can you find a concierge service and a community center with waterfalls? Home prices start in the $400s, and lot sizes range from 1 to 3 acres.

Johnson Ranch Johnson Ranch in Bulverde is just one of several new developments in the area, featuring five-mile views of Cibolo Valley and gorgeous oak-covered hills. Pick your home site from the six different lot size packages and gated areas. Home prices range from the $200s to the $800s. Johnson Ranch Elementary School is now open, and soon, the state-of-the-art amenity center will offer multiple swimming pools, a pavilion and a children’s playscape, and it will be linked to the many neighborhood pods via a network of trails. www.

Kinder Ranch Kinder Ranch is located off Highway 281 at Borgfeld just north of San Antonio. This well-planned luxury community features a recreation center with a meeting room and a Jr. Olympic swimming pool. Within Comal ISD, Kinder Elementary is newly open, and the proposed middle and high

schools are tentative for 2014. www.

Smithson Ridge The newest Burdick neighborhood is this gated community with acreage home sites and spectacular vistas. Wooded lots between 2 and 3 acres start in the low $100s with underground utilities, curbed streets and Comal ISD. ■

For more information about real estate in San Antonio and the Hill Country, send an email to kim@kimyoungrealtor. com. july//august 2013 NHOME /


// custom homes //

Builders of Preference

The preferred homebuilders in the luxurious Cordillera Ranch community live up to their reputations for quality and service. // by: kim young


/ NHOME july//august 2013

Authentic Custom Homes Founded by Israel Pena, Authentic Custom Homes has been building in Cordillera Ranch for more than 10 years. Their home styles range from Texas Hill Country to Old World charm. Their unique style can be seen all over the Boerne area, Comfort and Fredericksburg. For more information, visit

photo by Siggi Ragnar


f you’ve looked into building your new home in a luxury development, you probably noticed that many have a list of “preferred” builders. A development can be a hit or a miss depending on the homebuilders who purchase the lots. Preferred builders and good architectural regulations contribute to successful communities. The lot sales-people can also be good resources when you’re choosing a builder. Developments such as Cordillera Ranch in the Texas Hill Country of Boerne pride themselves on quality builders who have successfully gone through a qualification process. Luxury developments typically have a stringent architectural review committee, and new-construction homebuyers can save time and money by using a builder who understands those architectural guidelines. There are several preferred builders in Cordillera Ranch. They are all long-time residents of the Boerne area, and they are all successful homebuilders with a reputation for quality and customer service.

photo by Siggi Ragnar

photo by Siggi Ragnar photo by Siggi Ragnar

photo courtesy of cordillera ranch

Burdick Custom Homes is a renowned builder in San Antonio. Art Burdick’s partnership with Damon Christofilis has been a boon to buyers in the Boerne new construction market. You’ll find their award-winning styles in several luxury developments in Boerne and most notably, Cordillera Ranch. For more information, visit

photo by Siggi Ragnar

Burdick and Christofilis LTD

Robert Thornton strives to create homes with a unique and rich character. He specializes in luxury homes $650,000 and above. Much thought is given to the buyers’ wants and needs, and much attention to detail is given to each new home, be it contemporary, traditional or the popular Hill Country style. For more information, visit

photo by Siggi Ragnar

Great Homes – Robert S. Thornton LP

july//august 2013 NHOME /


Stadler Custom Homes

photo courtesy of cordillera ranch

photo courtesy of cordillera ranch

photo by Vernon Wentz

With a mission statement to provide customers with the highest possible quality of workmanship and service, Ray Stadler and his partner, Deron Stadler, are dedicated to meeting the needs of new-construction homebuyers in Cordillera Ranch. For more information, visit


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New to Cordillera Ranch is Gabe Garcia of Pasadera Builders. You’ll find them at Di Lusso Villas, the Tuscan-style gated community now in Phase II with select lots that back to the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. Di Lusso offers association-maintained landscaping and a lock-and-leave convenience technology package, and it is just a hop, a skip and a jump from the clubhouse. For more information, visit As a realtor, I’ve personally met each of these builders over the years, and I can testify to the genuineness of each. Should you be in the market for a residential lot or if you already own a lot in Cordillera Ranch, you should be pleased with any of the Cordillera Ranch preferred builders. For more information about Cordillera Ranch or their preferred builders, visit ■

Kim Young is a broker/associate with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Bradfield Properties, located at 9091 Fair Oaks Parkway, No. 306, in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas.

july//august 2013 NHOME /


// home decorating //

Style and Substance

Striking a stellar balance: Mike Brannon incorporates serenity, sustainability and soul into his delightfully artistic designs at LightLink Lighting. // by: Erin O’Brien ighting is everywhere – in every office, every restaurant, every store and every home. It’s a universal component of the built environment that we often take for granted or approach as an afterthought. Generally speaking, many of us tend to focus on style or substance, as opposed to creating a balance of both. But for lighting designer Mike Brannon, it’s all about the balance. “For the longest time, I don’t think people even realized that there was a health aspect to lighting and the built environment, or that light can be a psychological distraction,” Brannon said. “One of my goals is to create an environment of serenity. I think in terms of ambient lighting: to create lots of low, balanced lighting throughout a space versus a bright central overhead light, which is almost like the sun glaring down and getting in your eyes.” Sun comparison aside, the owner of LightLink Lighting is in no way averse to nature. Actually, he’s easily as much an environmentalist as he is a designer, having been “galvanized” about the environment since the age of 10 when he wrote a letter to President Reagan. “I read an article about the cutting down of redwoods to make lawn furniture in California, and that really bothered me,” Brannon said. “I didn’t expect to get a response to the letter, but I actually got a letter back and our town newspaper in Connecticut ran a picture of me holding up the letter. I think I found direction then and even started intuitively designing my lights with the environment and sustainability in mind.” In fact, LightLink Lighting was born 15 years ago as a result of


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Brannon’s desire to avoid wastefulness and maximize his resources. “My dad and I were renovating my house (an 80-year-old bungalow in the ‘09 area), and I ended up with a lot of extra materials: wood, glass and metal. I needed furniture and lighting, and I just found myself putting shapes together and building lighting. The first versions tended to look like industrial versions of Japanese lanterns. Friends seemed to like them, and it wasn’t long before they ended up in about five local stores. They even got into galleries and stores as far away as Austin, Houston and Tucson.” To this day, Brannon approaches his designs with the attitude that

merous AIA/LEED-certified architects, designers and modern design clients in 16 states and the U.K. And Brannon recently expanded LightLink’s reach even more through a partnership with the increasingly popular TEDx conferences, which have drawn considerable attention on both the national and international levels, even garnering regular coverage by NPR. He designed a particularly cool piece called the “F1 Ribbon Suspension” for TEDxAustin in February, and he is currently working in a larger capacity with the upcoming TEDxSanAntonio, set for Oct. 12 at Rackspace.

“I think every light can be improved, and that anything can be turned into a light.” “every light can be improved and anything can be turned into a light. I’ve made lights out of CD racks I found on the street. It’s just limitless.” With “anything to do with nature” as Brannon’s chief source of inspiration, the result of his approach is a line of unique, mostly oneof-a-kind pieces that feature strikingly creative blends of rich colors, warm woods and space-age metals – a clever complementary blend of styles often referred to as “Zen/industrial.” And a number of leading industry voices have taken notice. Many notable publications, including Natural Home, Organic Spa and enLightenment, have featured Brannon and his work. LightLink lights have appeared in a number of galleries, including local favorites Blue Star, SAMA and the McNay, as well as a lengthy list of other venues throughout the country. Brannon has also worked with nu-

In short, Brannon serves as a stellar example of what can happen when you do what you love and stick with your principles. You won’t find any sellouts or partial efforts in his studio or the homes, businesses and galleries where his work has come to reside over the years. Every piece has that serene, ambient aesthetic and that essential organic, natural component – or as Brannon calls it, “a soul.” ■

LightLink Lighting is certified by the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD).To learn more about LightLink Lighting, please visit or contact Mike Brannon at 210-414-3695. july//august 2013 NHOME /


// home decorating //

High Class, High Design LLB Interiors: creating timeless designs with client desires in mind


y inspiration for a project starts with the floor plan and the architectural direction, and then I improvise from there. I start with a driving-force selection like a “statement making” granite or an “off the charts” tile for the flooring, and then my ideas start flowing. The architecture sets off a drive inside me, and while I


/ NHOME july//august 2013

start by focusing on the main picture, one main item usually has me running with a certain look. You can ask any of the custom builders I work with: My eagerness for a project can be exciting and energizing. I try to perform every model and spec home with a changing look – I strive to not repeat myself! But one of my biggest com-

// by: Lara L. B. Hart // photography: jason roberts

pliments is when a client walks into one of my models and says, “I want to copy the model.” That tells me I met my mark! I love designing tile, and I take a lot of pride in the details I incorporate in the individual areas that set off the granites, the wall tones and the lighting. The focal points “pop” once the house is complete.

The accent colors and decorations are part of the flow of the design. My accents play off the tiles, the granite or the furnishings. The decorations, accessories and lighting fixtures are the final pieces of “jewelry” for the home – the special details that each room deserves. The flow is very important – no project can be fully completed or look its best if the flow is not followed because each selection is based on the last. If the pattern is interrupted, it can affect the whole scope of the work. I try not to use terms like “themes” and “trends.” I listen to clients’ wants, needs and desires and run from there so that they will be happy with their homes. I try to be their eyes and help them see what I see for their project. At the end, I want them to be able to say they love it – those are my favorite words. I enjoy hearing the builders and their clients tell me what they love about the house. Hearing their excitement about the look of the homes is the most rewarding thing for me. ■

july//august 2013 NHOME /


// green //

The Best Green in the Best ‘Hoods Homebuyers are in for a win-win at Lavaca, Stone Oak and Willis Ranch, three of the most desired neighborhoods that feature some of the city’s finest certified green single-family homes. // by: Rita Zenzen Heck


ut of the 351,465 single-family homes in San Antonio (according to the 2012 state code assessment), approximately 1,000 have been certified green by Build San Antonio Green or LEEDS. Some are located in San Antonio’s most desired neighborhoods: Lavaca/ Downtown, Stone Oak and Willis Ranch. Others are scattered throughout the city.


Lavaca, the city’s oldest neighborhood in the back of HemisFair Park, has recently come alive with new and retro green projects. CVF Homes’ architect/builder Juan Fernandez is leading the trend, winning the 2012 San Antonio Green Building award for his energy-efficient/low-maintenance home


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Approximately 1,000 single-family homes in San Antonio have been certified green by Build San Antonio Green or LEEDS.

for Corrie and Jeff McPherson on Leigh Street off South Alamo. “Because Lavaca is a registered historic district, we had to conform to neighborhood standards and included columns, a front porch and front driveway to blend in,” Fernandez said. The structure has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a study and the popular open plan kitchen/living area, “all in just 1,700 square feet,” beamed owner Corrie McPherson. “The 1,000-square-foot terrace was a bonus, with a 6-kw solar panel system covering the roof. It faces the Tower of the Americas and is our favorite spot for relaxing and entertaining.” The roof was designed with a pitch to conceal solar panels from street views. Among the 79 homes nationally to be certified Emerald by the National Green Building Standard, the Leigh home is the first ever to be certified Level 3 by the San Antonio Build Green program. It is also ENERGY STAR-certified with a HERS index of 17 and recognized by the WaterSense label for meeting the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) criteria for new home water efficiency. “This house received one the city’s first permits to include a gray water recycling system, which recycles water from the master shower and sink into all toilets,” Fernandez said. “Tank-less water heaters are strategically placed at point of use, and the home is 240V 45 amp pre-wired for charging electric vehicles.” “Lavaca is truly San Antonio’s best neighborhood,” the McPhersons proclaimed. “We can walk to all the trendy Riverwalk and Southtown restaurants, hop on major highways in minutes and mingle with the best neighbors in the world.”

For a complete list of energy saving/recycling features that translate into huge energy bill and maintenance savings, contact Fernandez at 210-601-9682 or www. july//august 2013 NHOME /


Stone Oak

G5 Home Contractors and Consultants owner Larry Graf, AIA, LEED AP, and his wife, Kathi, took advantage of a 2010 disaster that demolished a large portion of roof on their 1996-built Stone Oak home and turned green. “We took the opportunity to add all of the energy-saving features we had wanted, lower our energy bills and respect the environment,” Larry Graf explained. “We had a 5.06-kw system installed by CAM Solar over a metal roof using S-5 clips to prevent penetration. A home energy rating by ATS engineers showed a 58 percent improvement in energy efficiency, and we were inspired to up the standard with additional sustainable features.” Foam insulation in the attic, solar window film and ENERGY STAR-rated doors with blinds between the glass increased energy savings to 70 percent and earned a Build San Antonio Green Level 2 certification. The HERS rating went from 135 to 53, and the energy bills reduced from $360 to $110, peak summer. CPS Energy rebates (in 2010), plus a 30 percent tax credit, paid for two-thirds of the system. “Since then, our neighbors have taken notice and added similar features to their property,” the Grafs said. “We were the second house in our Stone Oak neighborhood and have watched it grow to one of the best in the city. It is conveniently located to major highways, but still maintains the peace and quiet of the country.” For more information, contact G5 Homes at 210-860-4723 or

Willis Ranch

San Antonio’s Imagine Homes became the first developer in the nation to include 1.94 kw of the DOW POWERHOUSE solar shingle system on every home in Willis Ranch with upgrades available up to 5 kw. The Persimmon 3,627-square-foot model (all homes are named after herbs or plants) features a 3.24-kw system, plus optional sealed, semi-conditioned foam insulation in the attic and walls, a tank-less gas water heater, 15 SEER HVAC, a 95 percent AFUE furnace, vinyl double-pane low-E windows, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) recycled content wood floors, low-flow plumbing fixtures, dual-flush toilets and native landscaping with drip irrigation. The Persimmon is ENERGY STAR-3 certified by Build San Antonio Green, and it achieved a HERS index rating of 45. On average, Willis Ranch homebuyers can expect an annual energy savings of about $642. Homes range from 1,747 to 3,631 square feet, with many options available. Just in the beginning stages, Willis Ranch will have 300 homes set in a creative plan that follows the natural contour of the property with many large trees that were saved. “Because setbacks are staggered, no two homes face or back each other, and there is more land between each unit for increased privacy,” said John Freisenhahn, co-owner of Imagine Homes (with Jim Bistoni). “Every walkway backs up to green space, making the community ideal for walking or biking. That’s why Willis Ranch is one of the best places in San Antonio to live.” For more information, call 210-877-5900 or visit

Creative Overflow/The Green Connection is located at 201 Barrera in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, contact Rita Zenzen Heck at 210-212-8031 or visit ■


/ NHOME july//august 2013

From the beginning of creation. Quality throughout the ages. Bringing nature to your home.

Quality one-stop-shop for your counters, floors, sinks, etc.

All of your remodel and new construction needs

San Antonio / 210.340.0339 Austin / 512.275.1340 july//august 2013 NHOME /


// real estate //

Realtor Profile


/ NHOME july//august 2013

No Regrets

Having both a passion for what she does and an awareness of her purpose in life, Danyelle Daniel is far more than your average successful realtor. // by: Chinyere Okoro // photography: jason roberts

t is rare to find people with a true passion for what they do, but it is even rarer to find people who recognize their purpose in life, as well as in their field. Danyelle Daniel of Keller Williams Heritage has seen the heights that someone with an awareness of professional purpose can reach: She is ranked in San Antonio’s Platinum Top 50 Realtors for 2013, 2012 and 2011. Upon meeting her, I felt welcome in her gorgeous foyer and warm disposition. Her beautifully decorated house and open blue eyes made me feel like an old friend coming by to catch up. After offering me a bottle of water, conversation came easily. Born and raised in San Antonio, Danyelle entered real estate upon a friend’s recommendation, after years of professionally challenging young audiences to live a life of no regrets. Soon after, she attended a one-hour real estate seminar she saw advertised. She was not impressed with the speaker, but one phrase stood out to her: “You are your client’s fiduciary.” A legal relationship of trust between parties, a fiduciary acts on good faith to take care of his or her clients, while doing business on their behalf. “In my heart, I knew deep down that if I would truly put others first, I would succeed,” Danyelle said. “My mission is to help my clients reach their goals while exceeding their expectations.” Danyelle believes everyone has a purpose, and that one’s purpose may not necessarily correspond with his or her career. “Real estate is my career, but not my purpose.” u july//august 2013 NHOME /


“You were made to make a difference, and you have been materially gifted and strategically placed to serve.”

There are certain professions where your heart has to be present in order to succeed. A sincere connection with one’s work in the service-based field of realty will take a realtor far. Danyelle believes real estate can be an avenue through which she can fulfill her own purpose in life: to make God famous. “If you only use your gifts and talents to make yourself famous or just to get ahead, you’re really missing out on what life is all about. The best life is found in fulfilling our purpose.” She recalls her first listing. While talking to the homeowners and preparing to list their property, Danyelle went out on a limb and asked to pray with them. “You have to be very careful; there’s a time and place for everything … I never want to [impose]; I want my clients to feel comfortable with me.” However, the homeowners were “so relieved. It just took their stress level way down … and brought a lot of peace to the situation.” The house was sold at full price within six days. Danyelle considers this beginning one of her proudest professional moments, as it set the tone for her career. When asked about one of her proudest personal moments, Danyelle recalled taking her father to Greece over Father’s Day and her birthday. She wrote a tribute to him, thanking him for everything he’d done for her and what he meant to her. She asked and received permission to read the letter over the plane’s P.A. system as they were flying on Father’s Day. The passengers burst into applause at the end. “It was very difficult to hold it together! I can’t express the feeling in my heart, knowing that everyone on that plane could know


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who my father is, and what he has done for me. If it were my mother on Mother’s Day, I would’ve done the same thing. I have wonderful parents who have given of themselves with a love that exceeds words.” Danyelle is quoted as saying, “You were made to make a difference, and you have been materially gifted and strategically placed to serve.” She believes “charity should come from the heart.” Where some people see complexity and shift responsibility, Danyelle believes those who are blessed and have been given much have the “duty and privilege to willingly and sacrificially give.” In her free time, Danyelle describes herself as having wanderlust. “I love to travel and see new places, and I also love to come back home!” She also likes to hike in the outdoors. Her conquests include Antarctica, the Canadian and American sides of the Rocky Mountains and Machu Picchu in Peru. Apart from exploration and travel, she also enjoys kayaking and dancing. An adventurer and somewhat of a philosopher, Danyelle is experiencing success while fulfilling her purpose in life. She has earned her place in the San Antonio real estate market through grace, intuition, diligence and natural savvy. ■

To learn more about Danyelle Daniel Real Estate of Keller Williams, email or call 210-722-0500. Note: While NHOME officially adheres to Associated Press style, certain editorial allowances were made within this article.









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A Sanchez Pool custom design can provide whatever you can dream up, with superior quality, integrity and unrivaled safety features. We can also build you a beautiful backyard Patio Cabana. Sanchez Pools is licensed, insured and bonded. Sanchez Pools is also a member of the Better Business Bureau, and a Hayward select pool builder. july//august 2013 NHOME /







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Representing the finest in real estate service! Experience the difference... Luxury League is an elite network of professionals with proven success serving affluent clientel. Membership is by invitation only. If you’re in need of residential service, look no further. Trust a Luxury League member and experience the difference.


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Luxury League Members Call a Luxury League member and experience the difference. Adrianne Frost

Heather Blewett

Paula Christo

Amy Boehm

Jana Baird

Paula Johnson

Angelica Albanese

Javier Cantu

Reagan Greer

Ann Fitzgibbons

Jessica Bakke

Robin Saunders

Anne Gamboa

John Pierce

Rosanna Schulze

Barbara Finch

Judy Dalrymple

Ruth Cole

Bill Graves

Judy Dunlap

Sandy Hancock

Brigitte Perkins

Kathy Miner

Scott Koehler

Carolina Garcia

Katie Griffin-Ross

Skip and Liz Shumpes

Caroline Decherd

Katy Stephens

Cindy Mitchell

Kevin Crawford

Phyllis Browning Company

Claudia Nolen

Kimberly Howell

ERA Troy, Realtors

Corie Boldt

Liz Montoya

Kuper Sotheby’s Int’l Realty

Dave Wagner

Lynne Martensen

JB Goodwin Realtors

Dave Wilcox

Melissa Wiggans

Kuper Sotheby’s Int’l Realty

Dayton Schrader

Michael Schultz

Keller Williams Legacy

Debra Janes

Michelle Ellis

Keller Williams Boerne

Phyllis Browning Company

Terri Saari

Denise Graves

Miguel Herrera

Kimberly Howell Properties

Diane Craig

Nena King

Keller Williams Realty Luxury

Dilek Parr

Patti Nelson

Keller Williams Legacy

Gina Candelario

Pattie Walker

RE/MAX Preferred, Realtors

Phyllis Browning Company Keller Williams Boerne Keller Williams Heritage Keller Williams Alamo Heights Phyllis Browning Company Kuper Sotheby’s Int’l Realty Phyllis Browning Company JB Goodwin Realtors Keller Williams Realty Luxury Corie Properties

Keller Williams Legacy Phyllis Browning Company Corie Properties Keller Williams City View Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper RE/MAX Associates Keller Williams Realty Luxury Phyllis Browning Company RE/MAX Associates BH & G RE Bradfield Properties Kuper Sotheby’s Int’l Realty

Keller Williams Legacy RE/MAX Associates Boerne Home Team of America Corie Properties Keller Williams Heritage Phyllis Browning Company Phyllis Browning Company Kuper Sotheby’s Int’l Realty RE/MAX Associates

Phyllis Browning Company Keller Williams Realty Luxury Kimberly Howell Properties Century 21 Burroughs Keller Williams Boerne Real Estate Muses

Keller Williams Realty Luxury

Keller Williams Heritage Nix Realty Company Phyllis Browning Company

Keller Williams Heritage Kuper Sotheby’s Int’l Realty JB Goodwin Realtors Keller Williams Realty Luxury Keller Williams Realty Luxury BH & G RE Bradfield Properties JB Goodwin Realtors Kuper Sotheby’s Int’l Realty Keller Williams Luxury/ Farm and Ranch

Stephanie Tullis Sue Hollenbeck

Susan Hallmark Susan Jones

Susan Marburger Susan Rodriguez

Terri Margozewitz

Celeste Gonzaba/Randon Hayes Victor Espinoza Yvonne Kall

Kuper Sotheby’s Int’l Realty

july//august 2013 NHOME /


// español //


Un Proyecto Residencial y Uso de Suelo Mixto Con Un Futuro Brillante Para el 2028 // por: Paulette Jemal unos cuantos minutos al sur del centro de la ciudad, justo al cruzar la calle del Campus Universitario de Texas A&M, se localiza el área donde será hogar de un extraordinario concepto residencial, uso de suelo mixto y reconocimiento mundial. VERANO es un proyecto sin precedencia que inyectara billones a la economía de nuestra ciudad. Creara treinta mil empleos, albergará treinta mil estudiantes y treinta mil residentes los cuales constituirán una población la cual contará con un rango de edades muy amplio desde jóvenes profesionales, familias hasta adultos de la tercera edad. Todos podrán gozarán un estilo de vida auto-sustentable. Contará con una  comunidad peatonal con albergues residenciales de todo tipo y de todo rango de precios y tamaños, que atraerá a estudiantes, residentes y turistas por igual. Actualmente VERANO se encuentra en etapa de planeamiento. El proyecto comenzara en la primavera del año 2028.  


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Este fuerte desarrollo en manos de Verano Land Group, quiénes donaron los 700 acres donde actualmente se encuentra situado el campus de Texas A&M en San Antonio, proyecta que para el año 2025 la universidad contará con 25,000 estudiantes. VERANO, será una comunidad que sin duda alguna captará la esencia de nuestra cultura, diversidad y belleza histórica de San Antonio, distinguido por su proximidad al Patrimonio Nacional de nuestras Misiones. Este desarrollo constará con un centro en medio de esta pequeña ciudad y tres poblados que rodearan al Campus Universitario de Texas A&M. Cada poblado contará con una amplia variedad de opciones residenciales, áreas verdes, plazas, veredas, tienditas y restaurantes que simularan la vida cotidiana de pequeños poblados, contando con todas las comodidades de la vida urbana. Está diseñado para crear un balance entre la responsabilidad ecológica de sus residentes y el bienestar social dentro de una economía viable.

Trish Najim


Este ambicioso proyecto de dimensiones masivas, cuidara de los pequeños detalles, preservando la naturaleza nativa de la región. VERANO cambiará la experiencia universitaria, residencial y estilo de vida, no sólo dentro de esta comunidad, sino para la ciudad de San Antonio. VERANO se encontrará en la terminal sur de la proyectada línea Inter-Municipal de tren rápido entre Austin y San Antonio, lo cual no sólo atraerá a  estudiantes de todas partes del mundo sino que proporcionara acceso rápido y efectivo entre las dos ciudades, agilizando el intercambio cultural. ■


Call or Text 210.213.2531 “

Para más información sobre el proyecto y desarrollo de VERANO, visite la pagina

10 Dominion Dr. San Antonio, TX 78257 Each Keller Williams is independently owned and operated. july//august 2013 NHOME /


// industry insights //

voices professionals of the


industry’s best on

the city’s best

Industry experts share their thoughts on the finest places to live in the Alamo City.

Mike Hollaway Mike Hollaway Custom Homes

Art Burdick Burdick Custom Homes

I believe that The Dominion is the best place to live because of the diversity of styles and wide price range of the homes. It is tranquil, beautifully landscaped and well maintained. Residents have the option of joining a fabulous country club located onsite. Highly rated nearby public and private schools offer a great choice for education. H-E-B, CVS and a plethora of good restaurants are conveniently right across I-10.


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I think "home" in San Antonio is synonymous with The Dominion. Capturing warmth, value, privacy and security – this is what I feel makes up the best neighborhood in our city. The security is second to none, including other services they offer that are tailored to your needs. Beautifully landscaped entries and parkways set a lush and warm embrace as you travel home. Privacy is very important in our personal lives, and the combination of the security and the parkway sets this mood. Value near and dear to all of us has been strong in this country club community over the years, and through several up-and-down market changes, The Dominion has held strong. This is why so many homeowners in The Dominion never leave, but sell and purchase one home after another, moving within this beautiful neighborhood. We are currently building two new spectacular viewed lots in the Avila and Alturas.

Barry Denton Cordillera Ranch

Cordillera Ranch is the best lifestyle anywhere in the Texas Hill Country! It’s minutes from Boerne’s top ranked schools, chic boutiques, quaint restaurants and small-town USA Main Street. One membership provides access to seven different clubs, including a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, social, spa and fitness, tennis and swim, rod and gun, equestrian and river. New areas being developed provide the most stunning views, golf and Hill Country property available so close to San Antonio. Unbelievable!

Susan Wright Corie Boldt CORIE Properties

The best places to live in San Antonio are in Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills and Olmos Park, which consists of Alamo Heights ISD. Property values seem to always be rising even in tough real estate times. The schools are excellent and smaller compared to the other districts in the city. There are unique boutiques, art galleries and museums and exclusive restaurants and grocery stores. This area is very close to the Pearl and the Southtown developments. The topography is beautiful with mature trees that canopy the roads. There is minimal traffic. As the area has unique homes that have been built from the 1900s up to now, the neighborhood is very cultural and it continues the old traditions of San Antonio and South Texas.

Kim Young Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Bradfield Properties

Olmos Park … I love the narrow streets and the canopy of large oak trees overhead. The quaint English stone cottages (some of them quite large), built in the 1920s and ‘30s, testify to the rich character in this neighborhood. Wood floors, plastered walls, tall baseboards, antique door knobs, stone walkways and manicured lawns grace this centrally located oasis. Residents enjoy the yearly King Antonio party at Alameda Circle and the Fourth of July parade.

Cibolo Canyons Resort Community Cibolo Canyons is truly planned for your life – varying price points, products, amenities and activities for every stage of life. With marathon training groups, fitness classes, music on the patio, the Fourth of July Parade, the holiday bazaar and party (a total of more than 30 planned activities a year), there’s something for every resident. And with the amazing amenities, including a lazy river, a Jr. Olympic pool, a kiddie splash pool and clubhouses, it’s no wonder the residents love Cibolo Canyons!

Travis Bauer

Charlie Hill

Cresta Bella is quickly becoming one of San Antonio’s most sought-after master planned communities. With its convenient location and one-of-a-kind city and Hill Country views, it is easy to see why. Located on IH-10 at Camp Bullis, Cresta Bella is minutes from shopping and restaurants in The Rim, Elian and La Cantera developments. The booming IH-10 corridor is also home to some of San Antonio’s best employers, which gives new meaning to the “live, work, play” lifestyle.

Johnson Ranch is the ideal location for living the Hill Country dream. With beautiful live oaks, views across the Cibolo Creek Valley and acclaimed Comal ISD schools, Johnson Ranch is the perfect spot to call home. Johnson Ranch Elementary School is open, and early this fall, Highland Homes and Ryland Homes will open their models, followed by Monticello Homes and Sitterle Homes. Johnson Ranch is located nine miles north of Loop 1604 on Highway 281.

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// finance //

The Forefront of Finance

Lone Star National Bank has made a huge impact across South Texas during its 30 years in business. And now, with talent including Mortgage Loan Originators Natasja Fike and Claudya Gutierrez on their team, the bank is stronger than ever. // special to nhome

Lender Profile


one Star National Bank opened for business on Jan. 23, 1983, in Pharr, Texas. Conducting business in a small, 3,000-squarefoot temporary building with only 10 employees, the bank opened its doors with the objective of making the future more prosperous for the community. Over the next two decades, Lone Star National Bank expanded continuously, opening banking centers throughout the Valley, beginning with its first banking center in Hidalgo County on April 4, 1994, at 200 Lindberg in McAllen. In August 2000, the bank opened the banking center outside Hidalgo County in Rio Grande City and then entered the Cameron County market in July 2001, with a banking center at 3300 N Expressway 83 in Brownsville. In March 2010, Lone Star National Bank opened the first banking center in Bexar County at 40 NE Loop 410, Ste. 408, in San Antonio, and by December 2011, the bank opened its fourth banking center in San Antonio. The fifth San Antonio banking center opened in January 2013, located at 15326 Huebner, and construction of the sixth location at 381 N Loop 1604 W is underway. Today, Lone Star National Bank is a


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technologically advanced, full-service, independent community bank with more than 600 employees and 33 locations across South Texas. The bank’s rapid growth is attributable to several factors

such as offering personal “value added” customer service and providing a rewarding environment for employees. Mortgage Loan Originators Natasja Fike and Claudya Gutierrez are two prime examples of em-

Lone Star National Bank has made the future

more prosperous for the community. Claudya Gutierrez

ployees who have attributed much to the success of Lone Star National Bank. Fike was born and raised in Ronse, Belgium, where she received her degree in business. She is multilingual and married to Cleveland Fike, a 20-year Air Force veteran whose military career has taken them across the globe and finally to beautiful San Antonio to retire. Here, the Fike family felt at home in San Antonio’s multicultural, military-friendly environment. Fike began her banking career 17 years ago, and she has made it her passion to help clients realize their dream of homeownership. Gutierrez was born and raised in Coahuila, Mexico, where she received her degree in administration and interior design. She is married with two sons, and she loves to travel, shop and read in her free time. Gutierrez has spent more than 21 years in the banking business, and she is currently a mortgage loan originator for Lone Star National Bank. At the bank, we stay true to our mission of supporting individuals and small businesses who contribute to the growth of their communities. As a financial institution, we are committed to staying at the forefront of technological advances like LSNB Mobile (mobile banking) and Office Banker (remote capture), which allow us to bring the bank to our customers. These factors, combined with the support of our stockholders, customers, neighbors and friends, have made Lone Star National Bank a well-known success and leader in financial services in South Texas. â–

For more information on Lone Star National Bank, please visit

Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS#208591

Natasja Fike

Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS#513609 july//august 2013 NHOME /


// finance //

The Financial Continuum Take charge of your finances not only to achieve financial peace and security, but also to ensure you and your family live the best life possible.

t is often said that life is like a marathon. However, perhaps it is better to consider life as a series of sprints with periods of recovery in between. This can apply in so many areas of our lives. Family, career and finances are all areas of our lives that have periods of all-out sprints and then times of almost coasting. When it comes to the financial race, it is important to evaluate you are and where you want to go, and then to create the map to get there.

On your mark …

In the early stages of financial development, it is about covering the basics. Dave Ramsey refers to it as the four walls: housing, food, transportation and clothing. The basic tool at this stage is a personal budget and identifying where every dollar


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goes. If the basic needs are not being covered, it is typically one of two things or both: Income needs to go up or spending needs to go down. Without a budget to evaluate, what is going where is hard to say. With debit cards, the ease of online shopping and of course, credit cards, we don’t physically carry and feel money (cash) leaving our wallets anymore. Think about growing up and having an allowance. You always knew how much you had to spend and where it went! So start with where you are. Identify how much is coming in after all deductions. Next, keep track of how much is spent on each category. Some simple ways to do this are to keep a daily journal, keep a folder of receipts and tally at the end of the month. Many banks now have an online “spending report”


// by: Linda L. Rudd

second job, gaining a new skill and selling that stuff in storage that hasn’t been touched in years are places to start. The goal is to get on solid ground and create margin. Margin is the extra that is left over at the end of each month so you can then go to the next stage.

Get set … go!

you must live below your means feature that will do most of the work for you from your checking account. With this information, you can determine your fixed expenses (required every month) and your discretionary spending (extras like the daily stop at Starbucks). Now it is evaluation time. If the outflow exceeds the inflow, there is work to be done. Cut the non-essentials, go back to the days of being on an allowance and watch every dollar. If there is nowhere to cut, the focus has to be on raising income. Adding a

Now the fun begins. This stage of the financial race is where the direction is proactive rather than reactive. It is about focusing on financial security by establishing and achieving goals. The areas of focus should include savings, risk protection (insurance), retirement, college and debt elimination. Often, this is where we are most of the time in our financial development. Envision a bucket with a “full” line clearly marked for each category. Ideally you are adding to each bucket all the time. Each one gets a portion of the monthly budget. Here is the main takeaway from this: You must live below your means. That is not a philosophy that is widely taught or embraced in our culture today. It is OK to live in your home a little longer, to be a little cramped for space and to drive your car for more than a couple of years. This allows the opportunity to add lines to the monthly budget for savings, accelerating debt repayment, college planning and retirement planning. Again, start with where you are. Even if you can only allocate an extra $25 per month to savings and $25 per month to paying off that old credit card, progress is progress. When deciding where to prioritize with the buckets, it is important to utilize the many resources readily available today. There are many financial websites, books and classes. “Total Money Makeover,” by Dave Ramsey, is a great tool with actual budgets, forms and clearly outlined priorities. There are also many classes you can attend such as Financial Peace University (FPU) at local churches if going it alone is not successful. It is also critically important to assemble your financial team. This includes a good financial planner, investment advisor, CPA, insurance agent and attorney. Talking to coworkers, friends and family to seek a direct referral is a great way to assemble this team. Ask people you trust for input on professionals with whom they have personally had a successful experience. Remember: You are interviewing them to be on your team. Personality fit, professional experience and integrity are as important as the products they provide and the price they charge. Have a plan and work the plan. So many joys in life come from this: peace of mind, financial security, stability for your children and opportunities to leave a legacy. Is it hard? Absolutely. Is it worth it? Without a doubt. Take charge and create the best life possible for you and your family! Linda L. Rudd, CFP, is a mortgage planner with Legacy Mutual Mortgage, located at 2526 N Loop 1604 W, Ste. 150, in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, you can contact her at 210-429-4900, ext. 2064, or lrudd@ july//august 2013 NHOME /


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july//august 2013 NHOME /


// arts & culture //

A Dynamic Decade of Directorship Bill FitzGibbons reflects on 10 years at the helm of Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. // by: Gabriel Diego Delgado


n the last 10 years, the city of San Antonio has changed. The population has increased 16 percent, making it the second largest city in Texas. This is exasperated by the multitudes of mixeduse spaces downtown that have attracted migrating urban dwellers. During this decade of rapid growth, Bill FitzGibbons, executive director of Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, implemented enormous changes at the city’s first and longest-running venue for contemporary art. On June 15, 2013, he stepped down, leaving behind a great legacy for the city of San Antonio and its art community to build on. I spoke with FitzGibbons about this very


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personal and difficult decision in a candid interview at his home. He reflected on his career highlights, the future of Blue Star and his own flourishing career as an artist. His story is coupled with the acknowledgment of success by notable colleagues and partners in San Antonio, including Mayor Phil Hardberger, Office of Cultural Affairs Executive Director Felix Padrón and UTSA Curator Arturo Infante Almeida. FitzGibbons moved his family to San Antonio in 1988 when he was hired as the head of the sculpture department at the San Antonio Art Institute, which went out of business about four years later. He accepted a Fulbright appointment to the Art Academy

of Budapest, but returned to San Antonio and became active in the city’s first-ever public art program. A few commissions later, FitzGibbons was invited to be an artist board member at the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center. After an unsuccessful search for a new executive director in 2002, his curatorial experience in Alaska, St. Louis and other national and regional venues made him the ideal local candidate for the vacancy. He was an experienced individual who already knew the striving San Antonio art community’s faults and weaknesses. “Unfortunately, the previous consultant had drained the bank accounts, and I had

“Bill has done a monumental job in supporting the development of public art in San Antonio.” to put the first payroll on my American Express card,” he jokingly admitted. “But if you look at what Blue Star has done for the art community and the community of San Antonio, it is very important. You have to understand at the time Blue Star began, there were limited spaces that showed local San Antonio artists. “Immediately, I wanted to focus on improving the quality of the exhibitions and having a variety of exhibitions – everything from printmaking to photography to painting to sculpture to installation. The distinguished artists who were board members were very helpful in putting together an exhibition committee. “There were also several immediate challenges. One was to build the board of trustees; we needed a larger board to help us with building our budget. We had no members in the membership program – there were maybe 25 to 30 members. I wanted that to become a priority. There were a lot of challenges at the beginning: lack of funding. “I think there were two fulltime and one part-time employee when I started, but one of my goals after these immediate needs were met was to start an education program. I realized with a challenging budget and trying to enhance the exhibitions, it would be in Blue Star’s best interest if we started to reach out and collaborate with other agencies and institutions in San Antonio.” An early collaboration was a partnership with El Instituto Cultural de México en San Antonio at Hemisphere, which served to expose the art community’s supporters to a new perspective on Mexican heritage.

“Mexican Report – Contemporary Art from Mexico” was a comprehensive exhibition from Feb. 24 to April 17, 2005, that showcased contemporary art in Mexico “because the Mexican-American art in San Antonio was filtered by the artists being here as Mexican-Americans … Chicano issues, the border, immigration, etc.” In 2005-06, FitzGibbons comically reminisced on the first time he gave a presentation to Southwestern Bell CEO Ed Whitacre: “We were looking at building our corporate sponsorship donations with the Instituto partnership and the Mexican Report exhibition. About six or seven minutes into the presentation, Ed stopped me. He said, ‘Obviously this is an important project; how much money do you want?’” FitzGibbons and his board of trustees left the meeting with a quarter-of-a-million-dollar Southwestern Bell leadership grant. After engaging a curator from Mexico City, FitzGibbons amassed Blue Star’s first big international partnership exhibition, which included 57 artists and filled 25,000 square feet of exhibition space at both the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center and El Instituto Cultural de México. The show traveled to Washington, D.C., and Austin, and it was a success story for FitzGibbons and Blue Star. With a newfound emphasis on curatorial achievements and institutional collaborations, FitzGibbons and his exhibition committee continued to work to spotlight the diverse culture of San Antonio’s local art community and its importance in the national and international art world. “We felt it was not only important for San Antonio artists to show their work,” FitzGibbons

said, “but it was important that San Antonio artists saw the work of other artists from around the country.” “Bill and Blue Star made a big cultural change and pushed the envelope of contemporary art for the people of San Antonio,” Hardberger said. “Most people were only used to seeing traditional art, then they go and see the new edge of contemporary art. It was a big educational effort that Bill was responsible for … the new art – the resource for budding artists.” With a no-holds-barred attitude, FitzGibbons and a throng of other art community leaders helped guide a systematic influx of artists and writers to San Antonio. A 2005 conceptual public forum called WAX – Writers & Artists Exchange included editors, writers, directors and authors from all of the major national and regional art publications at the time: Artforum, Aperture, Art Lies, Glasstire, Art in America, the New York Times, ARTnews, Sculpture, Art+Auction and others. “Bill has also done a monumental job in supporting the development of public art in San Antonio, and since 1995, has been a force for advocacy for the department, as well as artists in the city,” Padrón said. “Blue Star has had a long-standing partnership with the Department for Culture & Creative Development, receiving operational support, but we have occasionally partnered on special programs such as Contemporary Art Month and the Writers and Artists Exchange project done in 2005.” With multiple partners, including the San Antonio Museum of Art, Southwest School of Art & Craft, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, the McNay, Artpace and the City of july//august 2013 NHOME /


“I would like to see Blue Star become one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world.” San Antonio, FitzGibbons saw the forceful synergy and power these entities had when they came together to showcase the city’s dynamic contemporary art scene. “I always had the philosophy that you need to create a relationship with the visiting artists and lecturers – have them come back more than one time,” FitzGibbons said. “That way, you develop a friendship and professional relationships.” The friendships formed during FitzGibbons’ directorship helped secure San Antonio artists a spot on the national art radar. “The result of that kind of programming was that a whole new world of art was opened up to a younger generation of San Antonians,” Hardberger said. “You had established artists and prominent national icons paying attention to what was going on in San Antonio. There was an issue with the younger artists not feeling a notion of relevancy to what was being showcased in the major museums in San Antonio. But with Bill’s focus, he established a connection to this generation of artists and collectors. “I feel that the new generation of art collectors and patrons who were influenced and affected by the programming at Blue Star under Bill’s leadership will, in due time, be patrons of the arts for the McNay, SAMA and Blue Star after Bill is gone, leaving a foundational economic platform for artistic financial viability.” After about half a decade as director, FitzGibbons was finally able to put some of the growing pains behind him, so he began focusing on education. In the process of making these strides for program improvement, he saw another partnership with the Eskew art project, funded by Peter Holt and Tom Frost III. As Eskew was seeking more recognition and financial support, the project was copied and morphed with the development of the arts curriculum at Blue Star. “It was very exciting,” FitzGibbons said. “Their board members merged with ours. One of the first things we received from Eskew was their kilns. The nature of the


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kiln process and the ceramic tiles lent to the namesake: Mosaic. After Kim Bishop, the first head of this program, left to work for Brackenridge High School, I hired Smithsonian artist Alex Rubio to run the curriculum. “Here was a painter that was coming to this Mosaic technique thinking like a painter, not a sculptor, and his way of thinking helped inspire students and gave them additional perspectives in approaching art.” Fitzgibbons proudly said Mosaic has a 100 percent graduation rate for its high-school seniors, 90 percent of whom continue on to college, which is proof that a student exposed to art education will develop “enhanced self-esteem and problemsolving skills,” said FitzGibbons, who is sure that Rubio’s method is working. Mosaic prides itself on its statistical successes, but the work produced by these students is gaining regional attention, as well. FitzGibbons beamed at the fact that his Mosaic program is getting both private and corporate art commissions. FitzGibbons’ travels as an artist helped plant the seeds for future partnerships abroad and nationally for Blue Star, and they have evolved into international projects, including the British Invasion with Philip King, Art in the Garden, a collaboration with Irish sculptors and Blue Star’s Berlin residency exchange. “These [programs] are valuable to me as an artist … see what other artists are doing … and get the international art dialogue going.” Hardberger reflected on the premiere events of the first Luminaria, a citywide art celebration coined by the mayor and supported by a multitude of artists, partners and institutions, including Blue Star and FitzGibbons. The debut of such an innovative artistic endeavor reached international audiences and added prestige to San Antonio’s already established cultural identity. “Its hard to separate Bill from Blue Star, the individual genius of lighting the Alamo,” Hardberger said. “He might not have been able to pull it off had it not been for Blue Star’s identity and the controversial

opinions of doing the fine art addition to a historical icon.” “Bill’s tenure and a multitude of Blue Star’s programming served as a catalyst for introducing new ideas and to help move the needle in an arts and urban context,” Padrón added. FitzGibbons spearheaded a sculpture conference in conjunction with the 2012 Americans for the Arts national convention in San Antonio. FitzGibbons is already organizing a symposium to help promote the growing and maturing San Antonio art community to

complement the Texas Biennial exhibition scheduled for Blue Star in September 2013. “I tripled Blue Star’s operating budget, I elevated our membership to several hundred members and I built a strong board of trustees, from nine or 10 to about 30,” he said. But all of this progress for Blue Star came at the cost of 60- to 70-hour workweeks. “Sure, there were missed opportunities for me as a sculptor,” he remarked.

With the success of “Light Channels,” FitzGibbons’ commissions for public art projects have skyrocketed. With projects on the books for McAllen, Texas; Cairo, Egypt; New Delhi, India; and Birmingham, Ala., “I have work for the rest of my life,” FitzGibbons joked. “Trying to run a museum while being gone three weeks out of the month is impossible … I cannot continue with a clear conscience. I have been thinking about this change

for two years.” But FitzGibbons plans to stay involved. “The board has hired a consultant to go through a new strategic plan … It should answer a lot of questions, as well as reflect and address Blue Star’s achievements, improvements and vision for the future. I will still be a resource for institutional history.” The realities of economic downturns and the future of Blue Star are addressed by Almeida and Padrón’s opinionated conclusions. “I imagine that the challenges that Blue Star faces are the same challenges that all arts centers face in that above all, you have to keep the doors open, be new, exciting and userfriendly,” Almeida said. “I think Bill has worked hard, and I think he has done a fine job.” Coupled with this innovative necessity, Padrón addresses the unforeseen circumstances. “I

believe the Blue Star’s biggest challenge will be determining and stabilizing Blue Star’s future home whether it stays at their current location or moves to another space,” he said. “This has been Bill’s vision for a number of years now, but expanding too quickly may need further evaluation. The environment is currently too saturated with several capital campaigns in a challenging economy. At the end of the day, the board needs to evaluate and make the final determination as overseers of the center.” “I would like,” FitzGibbons concluded, “to see Blue Star become one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world.” ■

For more information, contact Gabriel Diego Delgado at

july//august 2013 NHOME /


// great escapes //

Last-Minute Luxury See the summer off in style by indulging in one or more of the many opportunities for romance, relaxation and fun in the Lone Star State. // by: Paige Koerner


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As summer has sizzled on, with all the relaxing or working, you may have forgotten to take a diversionary detour. There is much of Texas that needs to be explored when it comes to finding fun, tranquility and romance. Simply spin the compass and seek out these locations. If you enjoy the picturesque Texas Hill Country, visit the Marriott Horseshoe Bay Resort. This establishment is spectacularly placed overlooking Lake LBJ. The Bayside Spa is waiting to soothe and deliver decadent rejuvenation for those in need of pampering. If you desire your getaway to involve floating on or flying across tranquil waters, the Marriott is ideal. A top-notch “full-service marina” is before you. Everything from luxury cabin cruisers and jet skis to kayaks

and ski boats are at your service to ensure your entertainment. If you are a golf enthusiast, you are in for a treat! A AAA 4-Diamond premier Texas golf resort awaits you to complete your summer. Looking to stay in San Antonio, but need a getaway with indulgence? The Mokara Resort and Spa is calling you. Refined patrons flock to this fourstar hotel for luxurious and lavish treatment. No wonder San Antonio’s Mokara has earned such honors as Travel + Leisure’s 2012 “World’s 500 Best Hotels” and Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold and Platinum list for 2012. A AAA four-diamond restaurant is standing by to pleasure the palate. From the rooftop pool allowing for a spectacular vista of the San Antonio skyline to the sumptuous spa provid-

ing such delights as the River Walk Foot Fix and the Texas Tingle Body Wrap, the Mokara is nothing short of a magical experience. If you desire romance and relaxation after a scorching summer, the Inn Above Onion Creek will be your oasis. Keeping love alive at this bed and breakfast is effortless. Radiant review after radiant review sings the praises of this dreamy, yet down-home getaway. Foodies will swoon over the gourmet breakfasts and multi-course dinners. Love the vino? Take your loved one to the nearby Texas Wine Trails and take in gorgeous Hill Country views while sipping delectable wine. Biking and hiking trails will afford you beautiful scenic views of the fabulous flora and fauna. And of course, finish your day with a relaxing massage at their spa. The Inn Above Onion Creek is the splendid site for renewing a romance or just keeping the flame burning in the toasty Texas summer. To continue to stoke the fires of amour, Texas also has the Blair House Inn. Located in Wimberley, this elegant dining and lodging locality is matchless in its amenities, accommodations and atmosphere. The Blair House Inn has distinct and unique cot-

Although summer is coming to an end, there is still plenty of Texas to taste, explore, enjoy and experience.

tages for romantic retreats, delicious meals and indulging in the lush and plush. Whether it is the soothing spa and swimming pool or a picnic basket lunch overlooking the celebrated Texas Hill Country, affection will flow freely in this heavenly hiatus. A summer in Texas wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the coast. The San Luis Resort in Galveston will make checking off your summer “bucket list” a delight. The San Luis and its superior restaurant, The Steakhouse, will cure your coastal cravings in one magnificent swoop. All of the rooms have private balconies that provide unsurpassed, brilliant views of the radiant Gulf of Mexico. This four-star institution of comfort will have you sighing by the sea. Spa treatments, the adult swim-up bar, the tropical heated swimming pool and the grotto spa ensure that relaxation settles into your every pore. Kids, both young and old, will be stoked about the waterslide and plunge pool. And everyone will be keyed up about cooling down in the private cabanas. These little havens from heat are complete with food and beverage service, ceiling fans and flat-screen televisions. Life is good at the San Luis resort, no doubt. Summer in Texas may be coming to an end, but there is still plenty of the Lone Star State to taste, explore, enjoy and experience. Texas hospitality, no matter which direction you go, is alive and well. ■

Paige Koerner is a certified English and special education teacher. For more information, call 397-7100, ext. 3129 (Room F104) or ext. 3234 (Room F234). july//august 2013 NHOME /


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Pearl South Padre is the premier oceanfront resort located on the island’s southern tip. Surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Texas coastline with tropical breezes, lots of sunshine, swimming pool with swim-up bar, complimentary daily summer activities and of course plenty of Texas hospitality. After a full day of outdoor excursions, savor the flavor of fresh seafood at our Beachside Bar & Grill, then prepare yourself for a treat as you relax to the gentle sounds of the shore just outside your guest room window.

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Offering one, two, and three bedroom luxury condos. Each condo offers a private balcony to enjoy a the sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico or to watch the ships sail through the Corpus Christi International Ship Channel. Conveniently located close to restaurants, shopping and Port Aransas night life. Daily, weekly or monthly rates available. 1000 Lantana Drive ~Port Aransas, TX 78373 ~


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july//august 2013 NHOME /


// community inspiration //

Surprised by Joy Three families share their personal stories of adoption and the blessings it has brought to them // Special to NHOME

Amy and Randy Standridge By the eve of our fourth wedding anniversary, we had wanted to have a baby, but without success. My husband asked me what I would like for our anniversary, and I sheepishly answered, “a baby.” He gently told me he couldn’t promise me that, but that we’d have a nice celebration of four happy years. But an anniversary wish impossible for my husband to promise was not impossible for God! The next day, we heard that after waiting four months with an adoption agency, we had been chosen to parent a baby due to be born in two weeks! Miraculously, we were the expectant couple’s second choice of a family to parent their son. The first family selected had decided that adoption was not God’s plan for them, so they said no to the adoption match. Although we were his birth parents’ second choice, we were God’s first choice for Erik. If we had become pregnant one of the months and years we hoped and prayed, we would not have pursued adoption. We wanted a baby and we thought we couldn’t have one, but God put adoption into our hearts and then came Erik. Simple? Not really. Impossible? Not for God. When Erik was 4 months old, after four years of infertility, we discovered we were expecting!


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Although we were his birth parents’ second choice, we were God’s first choice for Erik. Our second son, Andrew, was born one year and four days after his big brother. Erik is now 6 years old, Andrew is 5 and our “later in life surprise,” Jenna, just turned 1 year old. Although you hear about it often, it is really not

common for couples who have adopted because of infertility to then conceive and have other children. But God’s plan will not be thwarted, and His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). Praise Him! ■

Buckner Adoptions in Dallas 5200 S. Buckner Blvd., Dallas, Texas 75227 Phone: 214-319-3426

Gary John, Rhonda and Paul Woda “I can’t do that” are words I have repeated many times in my life. However, I have come to understand that it really doesn’t matter what I can do; it is what Christ, who strengthens me, can do! Our children were grown and we had our first grandchild when my husband said, “Let’s adopt a child.” Well, you can imagine my words: “I can’t do that.” Several weeks later, I was listening to a Sunday morning preacher I did not know: Andy Stanley. He asked the question, “What is it you would do, but are not willing to pay the price?” When Gary came in for lunch, I told him about this comment. Simultaneously, we both said, “adopt a child.” Some discouraged us and said it would be difficult to adopt at our age, but God had laid his plans for us and paved the way from finances on down to minute details for the preparations required and we found favor. We had

this precious gift placed in our arms by his birthmother within six months – he was already in the womb when this began. Our lives have been so much more abundant because of that bundle of joy that our Lord and birth mom had the faith to entrust to us. What if God had not changed my heart? We would have missed one of the greatest blessings and adventures of our lives! Next time you think, ‘I can’t do that,’ ponder what kind of blessing you may be missing and just call on the one who can do it and let him reveal himself. Remember, Mary pondered all of these things in her heart as she raised her little boy, Jesus. God bless. ■ Methodist Mission Home in San Antonio 6487 Whitby Road, San Antonio, Texas 78240 Phone: 210-696-2410

If God hadn’t changed my heart, we would’ve missed one of the greatest blessings and adventures of our lives. The Bowrens

same time, the tsunami hit Southeast Asia and along came the thoughts of the children who lost their families in the tragedy. The combination of these events opened us up to the idea of adoption.

versus open adoptions. Once we completed all the research, we felt called to adopt a baby girl from China. After two years of paper chasing and waiting, on the day before David’s birthday in 2006, we were matched

The thought of providing a home and being a family for a child never went away.

We are the Bowrens, and our family has been blessed by both birth and adoption. David and Cammie married in 1995, and our sweet son was born in 1998. Shortly after our son was born, we began to try for a second child. After a few years, we realized it was not to be and decided – or so we thought – that our family was complete. Then, a few years later, there came an opportunity for us to adopt the baby of a family member. However, this was also not meant to be. Around that

Before, we had spoken many times about how adoption was probably not an option for us – that we didn’t think we could raise “someone else’s child.” However, after these events, the thought of providing a home and being a family for a child never went away. After much prayer, soul-searching and discussion, we decided to pursue adoption. We weighed many options such as foster to adopt, various countries from which to adopt and the requirements of each and private

with a beautiful 9-month-old daughter from Gansu, China! For a couple who thought they would never adopt who now believes that adoption completed our family, we are so thankful to know that our hearts embraced both our natural and adoptive children as our own. We wouldn’t have it any other way. ■ Great Wall China Adoptions in Austin, Texas Phone: 512-323-9595

july//august 2013 NHOME /


// events //

Mix and Mingle

The NHOME magazine team and friends celebrate the March/April 2013 issue with a fun evening of networking. NHOME magazine gathered with advertisers, supporters and friends at an exquisite Sitterle home in the Inverness subdivision for a networking mixer on May 16. Our team and guests enjoyed a night of networking and fun in celebration of our March/April 2013 issue. Thank you to all who joined us this evening. // photography: manuel serrata


/ NHOME july//august 2013

// events //

Grand Celebration

Platinum Top 50 recognizes the top-performing residential realtors of this year and showcases the Parade of Homes participants. On May 22, Platinum Top 50 had a grand celebration at the site of Parade of Homes 2013. This event recognized 500 residential realtors whose sales production during the first six months of the PT50 award year ranked the highest. It was an enjoyable night with many vendors, and guests had the opportunity to view the homes that were part of Parade of Homes. Congratulations to all of the realtors for your hard work. // photography: manuel serrata

july//august 2013 NHOME /


// events //

Ultimate Experiences From food and wine festivals to jazz and cultural celebrations, Texans of any taste can send the summer off in style and start the fall with a bang. Now-Aug. 9, 2013

20th Annual Balcones Heights Jazz Festival The 20th Annual Balcones Heights Jazz Festival is a free concert that takes place in the amphitheater at Wonderland of the Americas. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs and umbrellas and arrive early to pick your favorite spot. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. For more information, visit www.

Aug. 17-24, 2013

Restaurant Week It’s time to sample some of San Antonio’s greatest restaurants during Restaurant Week. Chefs will prepare delicious threecourse meals that will impress the city’s hungriest fans of amazing food. It’s time for San Antonians to celebrate their city’s finest food at local restaurants. For more information, visit

Aug. 23-25, 2013

18th Annual Austin Fall Home & Garden Show This is your time to create the home and garden of your dreams. The event will be held at the Austin Convention Center, and it will feature many exhibits and the latest products and services. It’s a fantastic way to learn how to enhance your outdoor space and beautify your home. For more information, visit www.

Aug. 9 & 10, 2013

Fiesta Noche del Rio This festive outdoor event takes place at the historic La Villita Arneson River Theatre and features music and dance from Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Texas. For more information, visit www.

Aug. 10, 2013

The blind wine tasting event will take place at the Becker Vineyards. Attendees will taste a varied selection of wines, which includes one from Becker Vineyards, with a panel of experts who will help guide you through a palate of flavors. For more information, visit www.

Aug. 12-18, 2013

Kidcation Week Get ready for the end-of-summer festivities. For one week, downtown will become a playground for families and will have many family-friendly events during Kidcation Week! During this week, restaurants, museums and hotels will offer kid-friendly activities, discounts and all kinds of freebies. For more information, visit


/ NHOME july//august 2013

children scuba diving image maszas/

Culinaria Summer Events: Rambling Rosé

Sept. 11 & 12, 2013 couple next to bikes image andrey popov/, bbq outside image gordon swanson/

Taste of the Riverwalk This event will feature the best Riverwalk experience. It’s a time to bring the locals to the Riverwalk and sample some amazing local cuisine. There will be more than 35 establishments participating. The Paseo del Rio Association sponsors this event, and tickets are limited. For more information, call 210-227-4262 or visit www.paseodelrio. com.

Sept. 12-15, 2013

Southwest RV Supershow This year’s RV supershow will be one of the biggest ever. Technology, production and financing have all come together for this year’s event. You will be able to explore a variety of ideas, products and services that are perfect for your RV lifestyle. Be sure to get some useful tips from the experts at the event. For more information, visit www.

There will be a 5K run/walk that will start on Broadway from Mulberry to Alamo Plaza. For more information, call 210-246-9632 or visit

Oct. 4-12, 2013

Oktoberfest San Antonio Beethoven Halle Oktoberfest is a traditional German celebration that will be filled with German food, music, drinks, dancing and entertainment. Oktoberfest is held over two weekends in October. For more information, visit www. continued on page 76

Sept. 29, 2013


Síclovía is a free family-friendly event where locals get to play in the street. It’s an event to get people outdoors and be physically active. Expect to see a sea of people riding their bikes, skating, running, exercising and just having some fun on Broadway Street. july//august 2013 NHOME /


Oct. 26 & 27, 2013

The Urban Market Houston Antique Show This event will take place at the Bayou City Event Center, and it has become a popular event for dealers and bargain hunters who enjoy spending the weekend searching for antiques and treasures. There will also be a VIP early buying event that includes food, beverages and wine. For more information, visit www. theurbanmarkethouston. com.

Chalk It Up

This is a free family-friendly event that promotes the importance of art education in our community. The 10th annual Chalk It Up will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Houston Street. Argo Group sponsors the event, and more than 45 area schools and organizations will turn our downtown sidewalks into artworks. For more information, call 210-212-4900 or visit

Oct. 14, 2013

11th Annual Arthur O’Krent Golf Classic The event is to raise money for the American Heart Association and United Way. This annual event has raised more than $700,000 through its annual golf tournament, and it will take place at the Westin La Cantera Resort course. For more information, call 210-2277387 or email sokrent@

Oct. 20, 2013

VOSA Volkswagen Oktoberfest The 21st Oktoberfest for the Volkswagen Owners Club of San Antonio will be held at the Main Plaza in Boerne. There will be a show and swap meet that will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be food vendors, music, games and a raffle. For more information, visit


/ NHOME july//august 2013

beer mug and pretzel image marlusdegraf/, antique trunks image avella/

Oct. 12, 2013

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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.

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NHOME Texas Magazine July/Aug 2013  
NHOME Texas Magazine July/Aug 2013