The Where I Live series aims to showcase our diverse city by spotlighting its many vibrant neighborhoods. Each week a local resident invites us over and lets us in on what makes their neighborhood special. Have we been to your neighborhood yet? Get in touch to share your story.

As two San Antonio natives with hometown pride, my fiance Ryan and I always knew we wanted to stay in the city that raised us. We met when we were students at the University of the Incarnate Word and, when it came time to find a home for our family, we unexpectedly found ourselves looking in Far West San Antonio.

Though much of our work and social life happened around downtown, we knew we wanted a home with enough space for our family to grow into. My parents live on the Far West Side and my mother suggested a new neighborhood near their home. At first, we were hesitant because we weren’t sure the new homes in the area were in our price range. But we fell in love with the neighborhood and when an opportunity to buy a home came up, we jumped on it.

Arcadia Ridge is one of San Antonio’s newer neighborhoods, but there’s already a strong sense of community here. When we first moved in, it was pretty late on a Friday night, and our next-door neighbors were out working in their yard. They introduced themselves and we chatted for a bit before they ran in and came out with a bottle of wine to welcome us to the neighborhood. If it weren’t for the pandemic, we would probably be hanging out more.

We’re looking forward to the end of the pandemic and being able to properly get to know our neighbors. Many of them have young kids like we do, and we love that our kids, Matthew, Mia, and Malia, will have the chance to make friends they can grow up with here. 

But even during the pandemic, our neighbors have been active on Facebook, so we still know what’s going on and stay in touch that way. And there have even been some events organized by our neighbors that have allowed us to get together safely. For Halloween, they set up a haunted trail for the kids to enjoy. Then later on in the night, they amped up the fright factor for the adults. It was actually quite scary!

During the recent winter storm, we really saw our community come together. We were fortunate enough to maintain power and water, but it was still difficult for us to get out to the grocery store because the roads weren’t safe – not to mention all the essentials were sold out. But just within our neighborhood, people were sharing things like eggs and bread. We have a newborn and offered diapers and formula to anyone who needed them. It was comforting to know that we could rely on each other.

Amanda Alonzo, and Ryan Ibarra welcomed their newborn daughter, Malia, two months ago. The growing family moved to Arcadia Ridge, a master-planned development in West San Antonio in July 2020.
Ryan Ibarra and Amanda Alonzo in front of their home with their children Malia, 2 months; Mia, 1; and Matthew, 7. The family moved to Arcadia Ridge, a master-planned development in Far West San Antonio in July 2020. Credit: Bria Woods/ San Antonio Report

Since Arcadia Ridge is a newer neighborhood, the area is still growing and developing. That’s exciting for us because our family can grow with the neighborhood. We already have some favorite spots where you’ll often find us, like the nearby walking trail that we especially enjoy. We’re big fans of the Mission Trails and used to go for walks there all the time when we lived on the South Side. Having easy access to a trail in our new neighborhood has helped us maintain our level of activity. There’s also a community pool that’s opening up soon, and we’re eager to spend time there in the warm weather months.

Sofia’s Pizzeria and Mi Hacienda Jalisco are two restaurants we like to pick up food from, and we hope to see more restaurants and cafes in the area as it grows. When I was growing up, there wasn’t even a gas station out here, so to see how the area has changed makes me look forward to what it will look like in just a few years. There’s a lot of potential here as more and more neighborhoods pop up for more people to move out here and businesses to set up shop here.

Matthew, Amanda, and Ryan's seven-year-old son strolls into the hiking trail nestled in Arcadia Ridge, a master-planned residential development in West San Antonio. Arcadia Ridge sits on 700 acres of land that is organized into various subdivisions, a school, and amenities spread throughout.
Matthew, 7, strolls into the hiking trail nestled in Arcadia Ridge, a master-planned residential development in Far West San Antonio. Arcadia Ridge sits on 700 acres of land that is organized into various subdivisions, a school, and amenities spread throughout. Credit: Bria Woods/ San Antonio Report

Arcadia Ridge might seem like it’s far out, but the commute to downtown isn’t too bad and we’re still able to hit the Mission Trails and visit the San Antonio Botanical Garden often. We also have the added perk of being near Castroville, where we like to go for day trips. Since there aren’t many parks in our immediate area, it’s nice to have Castroville Regional Park nearby.

It’s encouraging to see more people getting out of their bubbles in recent years. Growing up here, it seemed like everyone stayed in their little pocket of San Antonio and rarely ventured out to explore other parts of town. We hope that, as Arcadia Ridge grows, more people will see what we see. We feel like we moved in at just the right time, that we’re making an investment in an area that’s about to blossom. Who knows, maybe next year the hottest restaurant in town will be right here near Arcadia Ridge.

Amanda Alonzo

Amanda Alonzo is a lifelong San Antonio resident, marketing professional at Frost, graduate from the University of the Incarnate Word, and a modern mother who balances life raising three beautiful kids....

Ryan Ibarra

Ryan Ibarra is an award-winning visual storyteller for the Alamo Colleges District and a convergent media graduate from the University of the Incarnate Word. In his free time, he enjoys cooking for his...