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.

There is a sliver of land just northeast of San Antonio between the District 2 boundary and Converse in a subdivision known as Fairways of Woodlake. Some may consider it a no man’s land because our mailing address says San Antonio, but we don’t have San Antonio representation. Although it is a unique situation, we don’t feel entirely left out. The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement and the county fire department is nearby. Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert Jr. is our direct link to county services and is responsive.

The Fairways of Woodlake was built around the Woodlake Golf Club. Designed by Desmond Muirhead and opened in 1972, the Woodlake Golf Club was home to the PGA Texas Open and its host for four more years. It was where the greatest golfers competed and where Ben Crenshaw made his debut and won his first professional tournament in 1973.

Today, the club is defunct, but the golf course, located on both sides of FM 78, is a stunning greenbelt. There are hundreds of mature trees, water features, and the golf cart lanes are now walking paths. Our subdivision is on the north side of FM 78 and is a mix of custom homes and KB tract homes built in the early 1980s. About half of the houses back up to the old golf course. Another third has views of the green space and the balance are steps away from the green space.

We live near the old 18th hole. A few of my neighbors maintain one of the holes and tee box. Every week, you see them on their golf carts with clubs in tow, heading to the hole. We like to wave to neighbors passing by as we sit in our backyard overlooking the greenbelt. It’s the perfect space for entertaining friends and family.

The residents of my neighborhood truly cherish this green space that we have and hope to maintain it for generations to come, but its status is up in the air. Though no one can build on it because it’s wetlands, the property is for sale, so we are concerned about what could happen to it. Ideally, it can be designated as a protected green space so we don’t have to worry anymore. The San Antonio metropolitan area is growing rapidly, and we have to prioritize protecting existing green spaces and natural areas. 

As with many established neighborhoods, we are home to people of all races, ages and backgrounds. The people who live here are funeral directors, Spurs coaching royalty, nonprofit directors, preachers and more. Some of my neighbors have school-aged children. The Judson ISD bus picks up right at the gate. Some of my neighbors are retired and have lived here for 30-plus years. Some neighbors are newcomers. They appreciate the camaraderie of living in an established neighborhood where we speak to each other, wave at passing cars, pet the dogs, tell the children to be careful and come together for neighborhood events. 

We celebrate veterans daily. There is a veterans memorial just inside the gate of our neighborhood. A small American flag is placed on every lawn each Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veteran’s Day. Due to the pandemic, many community events are on pause, but two that remain and that we enjoy are National Night Out and our neighborhood garage sale.

Volunteering at the community garden at Redeeming Grace Church is a wonderful way to get to know neighbors and purchasing items helps keep the garden going. Our own church, True Vision Church, is another place where we’ve found community. 

Some other favorite neighborhood spots include Bayseas Seafood and Mamma Lou’s. And because we’re in the county, there are also a number of interesting impromptu flea markets that pop up and are always fun to browse.

There are so many things I love about where I live. Every morning, I wake up and look at God’s unique creations while fixing our morning coffee. Every Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, my husband, Joe, and I hang out on our daughter’s balcony and watch fireworks as far away as downtown and as close as Kirby. In the evenings, we marvel at the sunsets and try to name the color of the sky perfectly painted with God’s paintbrush. We sit out on our patio and listen to the cicadas and crickets serenade us until late.  

Like so many San Antonio neighborhoods, our neighborhood is changing. When our house was built,  this was considered out in the country. It is not the country anymore. Apartments and housing complexes are popping up all around us, and we have a Chick-fil-A less than a three-minute drive away. Yes, the neighborhood is changing, but I love where I live. It is pure San Antonio.

Deborah Omowale Jarmon

Deborah Omowale Jarmon is the director of the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum.