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Welcome Quest is the Hill Country’s premier journal of exquisite real estate, innovative design, diverse architecture, and authentic Hill Country lifestyles. This time of year, we are reminded of how wonderful it is to live, work, and play here in the Texas Hill Country. Spring has sprung, summer plans are taking shape, and the opportunities for outings seem limitless. The diversity of our area is not just found in our architecture, design options, and wide-ranging lifestyles, but also to the ways we’re able to have great times right here in our own backyard. From the Highland Lakes and summer camps to hiking trails and winery tours, getting “out and about” is half the fun of being here. We appreciate your support, and would love to hear your ideas. Email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Clint Morris & Katy Hahn Publishers
Fredericksburg • Johnson City • Comfort Mason • Llano • Dripping Springs • Kerrville Boerne • Wimberley • Blanco • Marble Falls Horseshoe Bay • Bulverde • Spring Branch
Photo by Eric Pohl
PROPERTIES OF DISTINCTION Friedën..........................................Inside Cover Phyllis Browning Co. The Rivers Team.............................................06 Keller Williams Luxury International, Katy Hahn..........................................................16
ON THE COVER Home Simple Goods + Design................04 Black Chalk Home & Laundry...................08
PUBLISHERS J. Clint Morris & Katy Hahn
SALES & MARKETING Katy Hahn J. Clint Morris Mike Miller
FarmHaus........................................................18 Kith & Kin.........................................................19
Slate Gray Gallery..........................................24
Kuper | Sotheby’s International Realty Tammie Bennett.............Inside Back Cover
ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
Volume 1, Issue 3 Published every 10 weeks by Quest Publishing, LLC
Jim Morris, Designer Craftsman..............39
Keri Kropp Space..............................................14
Slaughter Design Studio.............................. 17
The Inside Story...............................................28
Phil Jackson’s Granite & Iron Store.............44
Texan Land Services....................................46 Hill Country Memorial.................................47
© Eric W. Pohl Photography • epohl.com
LAYOUT & DESIGN Tawny Parker Scott Zirkel STAFF WRITER Caitlin Probandt COVER PHOTO Eric Pohl Photography ONLINE www.questtexas.com
Quest Magazine is published by Quest Publishing LLC. PO Box 2155, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of Quest Publishing, LLC. Printed in Mexico. Advertising content is the sole responsibility of the advertiser, and all properties are subject to withdrawal or prior sale. Quest Publishing and its respective advertisers are not liable for errors, misprints, or omissions. This publication is not an offer to buy or sell real estate on behalf of Quest Publishing, LLC, nor is Quest Publishing a Texas LREB. Licensed real estate agents and brokers appearing in Quest Magazine are solely and individually responsible for compliance with all applicable state and national real estate laws.
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In This Issue
Experience the Hill Country lifestyle like no other. Quest brings you the best of the best local attractions, services, arts, adventures, and most importantly, the communities that bring us together.
An Artist’s Paradise
The beautiful Hill Country region fosters creativity and wanderlust in many who visit and live here. Slate Gray Gallery shares their story and shines a spotlight on the artists who make up their community.
The Highland Lakes
The Highland Lakes along the Colorado River are an amazing natural resource that affords unique opportunities for vacationers and locals alike. Discover what these lakes have to offer you. Eric Pohl is inspired by Texan culture, food, and landscapes and seeks to capture their unique beauty in each photo.
Eric W. Pohl Photography
Building in the Hill Country
The Hill Country “style” is diverse in design and settings. Read about one builder’s experience building in the region.
Also featuring a spotlight on architect James LaRue.
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An Artist’s Paradise The Texas Hill Country is what some might call a “paint-by-number dream.”¹ Throughout its history, artists have flocked here for artistic inspiration. Long established artists such as wildlife artist Ken Carlson, sculptor Clay Dahlberg, and representational landscape artist, Phil Bob Borman, call the Hill Country home. Phil Borman moved to Kerrville in 2002 and has lived in nearby Fredericksburg since 2013. He is a landscape artist, particularly renowned for both his cloudscapes and portrayal of skies. “Excellence is not a skill level it is a heart level” says Borman. He goes on to say in speaking about his road to being an artist, “If you can make friends with frustration you will be a great artist.” His “heart level” is evident in his works of art that draw you into his vast landscapes. World renowned silversmith, Clint Orms, was attracted to the area from Houston. At a young age, Orms established himself as one of the best leather engravers in the industry. Eventually, he was able to translate that talent into designing silver belt buckles. Orms and his wife, Roxie, knew they wanted to raise their children in the Hill Country, so they took a leap of faith and moved to Kerrville in 2003. As they were setting up shop in the Old Ingram Loop (where the shop is still located today), Ralph Lauren called and asked Orms to create designs for their spring line. The company bought pieces as fast as Orms and his team could
If you can make friends with frustration you will be a great artist.
produce them. This initial order paid for the setup of the new shop and proved to be a valuable relationship for years to come. “Given the low population density of the area, there are a lot of really great artists in the Hill Country.” muses Roxie Orms, while naming a handful of these well known creatives.
When you think of population density, there are a lot of really great artists in the Hill Country.
Lori Appleton, creative director of Slate Gray Gallery, a small, curated gallery in downtown Kerrville, recalls the evolving art scene in the 1970’s when entrepreneur and art patron L.D. Brinkman moved to town. Brinkman’s love for art was instrumental in the creation of The Museum of Western Art in Kerrville. As legend has it, a conversation between Brinkman and Bobby Shelton, an heir to the King Ranch, led to the idea for the Museum. As collectors, both men needed better access to art and wanted the public to be able to enjoy that art as well. The two patrons “corralled a group of kindred spirits” who loved all things Texas: cowboys, Indians, cattle, horses, and the natural landscapes of the west. With the additional contribution of prime real estate by Carolyn and William Roden, plans were complete, and the Cowboy Artists of America Museum (as it was first called) opened its doors in April 1983.² Brinkman continued to be a patron of the arts and supporter of the Museum throughout his life. In February of this year, the L.D. Brinkman Estate through Bonham’s Auction House sold Brinkman’s personal collection for over $8 million.³
3. QUEST | 11
Beth McLaughlin, as the owner of Slate Gray Gallery in Kerrville and Telluride, strives to keep this art tradition alive. She is both an entrepreneur and business owner and has over 25 years of experience in the international food industry. In 2014, after a major foreign exchange devaluation, she closed her food business. During that same period, her then husband purchased some empty buildings in downtown Kerrville and made an informal arrangement with local artists Katherine Lott and Deborah Harrington to open an art gallery that would showcase their work. This agreement ended up changing the trajectory of her life after the couple parted ways. At that point, McLaughlin was contacted by the artists, asking “what about us, we’ve been painting all summer?” As a lifelong patron of the arts, she agreed to renovate the building and open the gallery as long as the artists were willing to self manage and staff it. The space was named Slate Gray Gallery and welcomed its first customers in 2015. Today, Slate Gray Gallery is a full service art gallery and showcases local hill country artists such as Katherine Lott, Carol Arnold, John Self, Susu Meyers, and Karen Freeman as well as various regional and internationally known artists. Giving back to the community proves to be McLaughlin’s highest priority. To that end she believes artists that are driven by both their creative spirit and the desire to create should earn a living wage. The team at Slate Gray Gallery works tirelessly to promote art and artists. All proceeds from the Gallery are reinvested into nonprofit organizations in the community.
Giving back to the community proves to be McLaughlin’s highest priority. To that end she believes artists that are driven by both their creative spirit and the desire to create should earn a living wage. 4.
References and Credits: ¹ “Paint-by-number dream”, Jackson Browne sings in “The Pretenders”. ² “Bobby Shelton and L.D. Brinkman … Roden … corralled kindred spirits” Museum of Western Art’s website ³ “L.D. Brinkman.” Bonhams Auction House website Photos: 1. Artist, Phil Bob Borman represented by Insight Gallery, Fredericksburg, Texas 2. Clint Orms, Silversmith, Ingram, Texas 3. “Blue Cameo” by Christopher Peter (Mountain Home Ranch private collection) and “Awake at Dawn” by Niki Woehler, available at Slate Gray Gallery 4. “May Agave” limited edition prints by Austin artist, Felice House,
available at Slate Gray Gallery 5. Artist, Karen Freeman represented by Slate Gray Gallery, Kerrville, Texas painting at “Brush for a Buck” charity event May, 2018 6. Slate Gray Gallery located in historic downtown Kerrville at 235 Earl Garrett Street
7. Beth McLaughlin, owner, Slate Gray Gallery located in Kerrville, Texas and Telluride, Colorado QUEST | 13
Keri Kropp Design | A Blue Story Custom design to meet your needs. Interior Design | Custom Furniture | Lighting | Bedding | Construction Consultation
At Keri Kropp Design, we find that inspiration originates in the relationship between our design experts and our clients. Itâ€™s this relationship that transforms your project beyond a simple design into a world that resonates your true sense of style, beauty, and aesthetic. With a collection of home furnishings, which include custom-designed furniture and lighting, as well as, vintage and diverse pieces, we create a vision that evolves naturally achieving the perfect one of-a-kind space just for you. 728 Water Street | Kerrville Texas | 830.315.5374 | www.kerikroppdesign.com
ucked into the rolling hills and canyons of the Colorado River basin, the Texas Highland Lakes are among the most beautiful lakes in the entire state. These six lakes offer recreation, wonderful views, sustaining water supplies, and help with the flooding that sometimes visits our region. Dating from the 1930s, the Highland Lakes dams created Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, and Lake Austin. For the towns that surround the freshwater lakes, these state treasures are a major attraction for locals and tourists. Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Jarrod Metzgar, said
his town sees an influx of people during the spring and summer months, thanks to the water and all it has to offer. “The lakes put a lot of heads in beds in the summer months,” he said. “There are also a lot of people who own second homes on the water that come to stay and enjoy.” While the historic flooding in October 2018 has put a damper on some of the fun in the past few months, reconstruction should be ending soon, and docks should open back up in time for people to enjoy them this summer. Kalena Cotton, employee of the Marble Falls Visitor Center, says that while swimming might be restricted at some portions of the lakes, Cotton said Cruze
Now is open for business and keeping the fun going. “Cruze Now is like Uber for boats,” she said. “You can rent a boat for an afternoon and ski, tube or just ride around. A lot of local folks are taking advantage of that service, too.” If you happen to be in the market for a bit more exercise than cruising on a boat, you and your family can always try out water activities like kayaking or stand up paddle boarding. Rick Blackington, one of the owners of Just Yakin’ Kayak Rentals, has enough watercraft to keep the entire family entertained for the duration of your stay. “We rent single and tandem kayaks and stand up paddle boards,” said the Abilene native. “Our main business is QUEST | 21
hourly rentals or delivery all around Highland Lakes.” Blackington says experience is not a must while using his equipment, but a sense of adventure is a definite plus. “Kayaks and paddle boards are definitely fun for the whole family,” he said. “We have different options for whatever you’re looking for, and we can always recommend places to go on the water. One of my favorite places to send people in kayaks is by Wirtz Dam because the kayaks are perfect for navigating the rock outcroppings. It really feels like you aren’t even in the city anymore once you get there.” If kayaking or stand up paddle boarding isn’t on your list, Cotton suggests checking out another of the lakes’ many activities.
“We have Lakefest coming back in August,” she said. “The drag boat races are huge in this area.” Until August, Cotton said there are plenty of great swimming holes to check out. “My friends love to go to Sunset Point RV and Cabin right on Lake LBJ,” she said. “They have gorgeous lake access— it is almost like you’re at the beach.”
The attraction to ‘Lake Life’ is just to be able to relax, to leave all your cares in the big city for a few days and come to the lake.
Once you get your fill of water and sun, there is plenty to keep you busy on the shores of the Highland Lakes, too, according to Metzgar. “I spend most of my time on Lake LBJ,” he said. “But we have some great bluebonnets to look at on shore, and we have some great outdoor recreation such as hiking. We really have something for everyone.” Tammie Bennett, local Realtor in the Highland Lakes says the “Lake Life” represents a wide variety of activities. “The attraction to ‘Lake Life’ is just to be able to relax, to leave all your cares in the big city for a few days and come to the lake,” Bennett says, “Fishing, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, boat cruising, water skiing, wake boarding or jet skiing and if that doesn’t float your boat, this area has world class golf.” For those looking to make the Highland Lakes their full-time home, she stresses the importance of using a local Realtor who understands the area. “All of the lakes each have their own unique features and special areas that require someone to really check it all out,” she says. Whether you’re considering the Highland Lakes for a weekend getaway or a full-time lifestyle, the Lake Life is an enduring and attractive option. With exciting new developments and a resurgent waterfront on deck for this summer, now is a great time to make plans in the Highland Lakes!
For more information about the Highland Lakes and activities coming up, contact Marble Falls Visitor Center at 830-693-4449. To rent kayaks or paddle boards from Just Yakinâ€™, call 325-6682536. Tammie Bennett, RealtorÂŽ can be reached at 830-265-0550. Cruze Now can be downloaded on Apple and Android devices.
marblefalls.org buchanan-inks.com laketravischamber.com QUEST | 23
Eric W. Pohl Food and Travel Photographer and author of the book Texas Hill Country: A Scenic Journey
My photography primarily focuses on Texas culture, food and places. In a sense, I see every place and every person I photograph as part of the fabric of Texas. So, I feel like Iâ€™m helping to tell the story of Texas, one photo at a time. Telling that everchanging story drives my passion for what I do. I hope that my work will inspire others to explore and conserve the world around them and enjoy the journey in doing so. QUEST | 25
building in the HILL COUNTRY When people in The Hill Country hear Fredericksburg mentioned in conversation, it usually is followed closely by “wine” or “Oktoberfest.” Although the string of wineries along 290 and Texas’ biggest beer fest are huge draws for tourists, more and more people are starting to call Fredericksburg home, and a lot of them are settling in Boot Ranch—with good reason. Boot Ranch is a private club community on Highway 965 that features a golf course, clubhouse and homesites that range from $200,000 to $2.5 million. Whether folks are looking to build a place to raise a family or a second home, Matthew Mabery of Mabery Contracting is the man for the job. Mabery is the primary contractor at Boot Ranch, and he has his finger on the heartbeat of the Texas Hill Country. QUEST | 33
“I started Mabery Contracting in 1997 in Fredericksburg,” he said. “I have completed 20 homes in Boot Ranch, and it is a unique market—one that allows for more creativity and neat aspects in the home.” Mabery and his crew have anywhere from six to 10 homes in various stages of the building process at one time in Boot Ranch. “I build primarily for second home owners,” he said. “There is certainly an aesthetic I try to maintain that fits in well with the Texas Hill Country, but I also have seen a shift from rustic to more modern in the past two years. A lot of people want cleaner lines and a softer pallet instead of earthy tones of the early 2000s.” Regardless of your leanings toward modern or rustic, Mabery said there are a few things all the homes in Boot Ranch have in common. “People want their homes to be fun,” he said. “They want to be able to entertain in their show pieces.”
Mabery understands better than anyone what an important decision building your own home is, and that is why he has worked hard to build a team of professionals at the top of their fields. “I do not contract out much of the labor, and I own all of my own equipment,” Mabery said. “I employ about 20 people to do just the carpentry work. I focus on my employees and try my best to create a great work environment which, in turn, really helps with time and cutting down on cost.” Although Mabery only builds in Boot Ranch, he has more than enough to keep him busy for the foreseeable future. “I interview about once a month with folks, and we start a new home about every two months,” he said. “Some people will tell you building a home is the best or worst experience of their lives, and I really want to ease that process for everyone. I want to shoot for the stars, but I also want my clients to have full confidence in me and what I do. I want to be their guy.” QUEST | 35
When you need to know, call Homestead!
Jeff Talarico, CRPC® Financial Advisor | Certified Kingdom Advisor®
Rick Forehand, Owner Licensed Professional Inspector #22260 Registered Professional Engineer 125828 Homestead Professional Inspections serves the Texas Hill Country with a client-first approach, clear and easy-to-read reports, and an owner-operator who is also a professional engineer. AHIT Certified and TREC Licensed. 2805 Indian Wells Dr • Kerrville, Texas 78028 homesteadinspectiontx.com • (830) 928-1973
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QUEST | 41
Photo by Paul Bardag jy
L ARUE ARCHITECTS •••
FEATURING JAMES L ARUE James LaRue AIA LaRue Architects By Canan Yetmen
Not many things in the vibrant incarnation of Austin in 2019 can claim a 30-year anniversary. But LaRue Architects, an award-winning boutique residential design firm with a national reputation is doing just that. Amidst Austin’s breakneck pace of construction (and accompanying demolition) the seasoned firm has consistently created inspiring and design-driven homes, unique to and fully of the Austin we know and love.
Photo by Dror Baldinger
One thing has remained constant about the Texas capital â€“ it draws people in. They visit, and they want to stay. Chalk it up to the rolling Hill Country landscape, the climate, the easy lifestyle (and yes, the tacos and BBQ, too). People love Austin and want their homes to reflect its cool style and particular spirit. Since 1989, architect Jim LaRue and his team have worked all over the city with a variety of sites and clients, creating a Hill Country contemporary style - modernist fundamentals enriched with local materials and easy connections to both land and sky - that is instantly recognizable to Austinites.
Photo by Dror Baldinger QUEST | 41
Whether working on a Hill Country site or a Clarksville lot, it’s time-tested methods and materials used in new ways that define the refreshing evolution LaRue brings to modern architectural forms. This means every project begins with the site and the importance of designing to capture breezes and protect from the intense sun and using existing trees and topography as an asset to the finished project. Steel, glass, concrete, and stone comprise the elemental palette LaRue turns to as the expression of being rooted in this time and place. The work draws in all kinds of clients, too, from empty nesters to firsttime home builders envisioning a beautiful place to put down roots.
Photo by Paul Bardag jy
LaRue says variety and reinvention are also favorites of Austin clients. He notes that Austin’s elevation in status as a destination – thanks, SXSW and F-1, among others – has expanded the architectural landscape. “The bar is high in Austin,” he says. “The projects have to be excellent. It’s driving everyone to do better work and from a design standpoint, Austin is opening a lot of eyes across the country.” LaRue should know. From waterfront properties on the expanding west side of town, to close-in established neighborhood and suburban contexts, his
work reflects the variety of Austin lifestyles. He enjoys working the city’s different microcosms, finding solutions to each site’s unique set of problems, whether that’s how to best capture an expansive view, preserve existing trees, or site a house to protect residents’ privacy. The firm’s tightly knit team is flexible and agile enough to respond thoughtfully to each challenge. Researching, exploring and discussing ideas are the engine that drives the work and a thoughtful collaboration with the entire team – client included – is the norm.
Although the firm’s work is focused predominantly in Austin and the Hill Country region, LaRue is exporting his Austin style farther afield at clients’ requests. He works in Dallas and Houston and beyond, with projects in South Carolina, Tennessee and even Massachusetts, where he adapted the design to address drastically different climate and topography challenges and use local materials while still delivering the specific Texas flavor the client wanted.
“The bar is high in Austin,” he says. “The projects have to be excellent. It’s driving everyone to do better work and from a design standpoint, Austin is opening a lot of eyes across the country.”
LaRue says the team takes on projects that are meaningful to both the firm and the client, and that carry with them a connection to both history and place. As an integral and influential part of the cityâ€™s design community for three decades, LaRue has left a beautiful legacy on the city. Itâ€™s a milestone to be celebrated perhaps on a shady porch or a deck with a view to hills and sky, and a toast to the spirit of Austin.
Photo by Dror Baldinger QUEST | 43
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