The Where I Live series aims to showcase our diverse city and region 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.

Some of my favorite childhood memories were made on family trips to San Antonio. I remember driving up from Laredo and having so much fun at places like the Natural Bridge Caverns, SeaWorld, and Fiesta Texas. I was drawn to the excitement and diversity of the city and could picture myself living here.

My family later moved to quiet Floresville, which was definitely a change of pace. But it also put us closer to the city that I had many fond memories of, giving me the opportunity to get better acquainted with San Antonio. While I was studying at Texas State, I was able to explore the larger San Antonio-San Marcos area and fell in love with the Hill Country. Trips to Boerne and Fredericksburg were always on the itinerary when I had out-of-town visitors.

I knew that when I graduated, I wanted to still be able to take day and weekend trips to the Hill Country without sacrificing a vibrant urban lifestyle. San Antonio was a clear choice. It would allow me to establish myself professionally and build community, while also giving me a chance to escape the grind of city life once in a while.

  • Viri Rodriguez poses for a photo at her apartment complex Friday. She moved to the Eckhert Crossing area six months ago.
  • Cash, Viri Rodriguez’s 4-year-old mini Australian Shepherd, leaps up to investigate her coffee Friday.
  • Snowflake Donut is one of Viri Rodriguez’s favorite places to frequent in the Eckhert Crossing area.
  • Viri Rodriguez takes her dog Cash for a walk in Denman Estate Park Friday.

My boyfriend, Kyle, and I moved into an apartment in Eckhert Crossing on the North Side and have been enjoying getting familiar with our new home. Though it’s definitely harder to get to know your neighbors when you move into an apartment complex during a pandemic, we’ve found our neighbors to be warm and easy to strike up conversations with when we run into each other around the building or at Taco Truck Fridays.

We’re already regulars at Snowflake Donuts, where the donuts are delicious and the staff is so friendly. They seem genuinely happy to see us when we stop by. And for coffee to go with our donuts, we have plenty of options nearby. Merit Coffee has quickly become a favorite.

My dog, Cash, has taken to the neighborhood well and we enjoy walks around Eckhert Crossing and the surrounding area, often coming across neighbors walking their dogs. The addition of a dog park to the neighborhood would be amazing since so many of us have dogs and it would be great to have a dedicated space for our pets to play.

There are plenty of walking trails nearby to get us outside more, and one of our favorite spots in the area to relax and get some fresh air has to be Denman Estate Park. It’s beautiful and tranquil and even has a serenity trail to help visitors find peace. There’s also a pond with ducks and a gorgeous pavilion that was a gift from Gwangju, San Antonio’s sister city.

Before living here, I didn’t know just how much great outdoor space San Antonio had. Though I’d been to the city plenty of times, experiencing it as a visitor is so different from experiencing the city as a resident. That’s one of the wonderful things about being relatively new to the area and to San Antonio, we still have so much to explore.