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.
Like a lot of folks, I came to San Antonio by way of the United States military. After spending a decade stationed in England at Royal Air Force Greenham Common and Germany at Ramstein Air Base, I was given the opportunity to come back stateside in 1991.
As a single dad with three young children, I wanted to find a place that my kids could call home, somewhere where they could have their own space and feel safe, somewhere with room for them to explore and make friends that they’d have for the rest of their lives. It was a tall order, but I was confident that I’d find a place perfect for us.
Back in the early ’90s, we didn’t have the same access to technology that we do today. I scoured the classifieds of the San Antonio newspapers at the base library looking for available properties and a real estate agent. I looked at more places than I can recall, both preowned and new, and found a brand-new development called Redland Springs.
Redland Springs was the first housing development in the area. In fact, this area was not even a part of San Antonio back then. The open space was a huge draw. There were cow pastures and horse farms that reminded me so much of being back home in Giddings, Texas. Before all of the new development, there was plenty of room to take the kids hiking and exploring. I’m probably not meant to admit this, but I used to take a go-kart and explore the land out here with the kids.
When we first moved here, I had two kids in elementary school and one in middle school. Redland Oaks Elementary is directly across the street from the neighborhood, and Driscoll Middle School is just around the corner. This was a massive help considering there was only one of me and three of them.
My kids, Beau, Amanda, and Devon, each played sports and participated in after-school activities throughout elementary, middle, and high school. Before they had cars, the close proximity to their school made being in multiple places at once seem possible. During the week, I worked at Brooks Air Force Base and hustled back home to get the kids to soccer, baseball, volleyball, or whatever was in season at the time.
Through my kids’ sports teams, I was able to get more involved in the surrounding community. I’ve been blessed by my neighbors’ friendship throughout the years. Many of us had kids who played on the same teams, so we spent a lot of time together driving the kids to and from practices and tournaments.
Games and practices often took place at McAllister Park. I became a member of the Friends of McAllister Park and still have such an appreciation for the space the City has created and preserved. Throughout all the new development here, McAllister Park has conserved the idea of country living. Even with the new trails, pavilions, and the dog park, you’ll still be able to find deer and other wildlife roaming about.
Wanting to get more involved in my community, I joined the Redland Springs Homeowners’ Association board. One of the projects I’m most proud of from my time with the HOA was working with my neighbors and developers to construct Bulverde Marketplace to allow surface drainage through our neighborhood. That was a big win for us.
Later, I joined the Northeast Neighborhood Alliance, where I got to know more neighborhoods in the area and engage with residents. It’s this time spent working closely with neighbors and building community that led me to run for City Council in 2017. You could say that this neighborhood and community are the reasons why I am able to do what I do today.
Redland Springs is no longer the country neighborhood we first moved into. The new development out this way was inevitable. While I definitely miss that country feel, it has been nice to have faster access to all of life’s necessities and desires. San Antonio is growing so rapidly, and it gives me a sense of pride to see people coming to the Northeast Side.
Everything you need is just a stone’s throw away. There’s a brand new H-E-B nearby that has some really terrific barbecue. There is easy access to parks, restaurants, a movie theater, and an ice skating rink. The location of the neighborhood also makes it easy to travel to some of my favorite places. My home away from home, Canyon Lake, is just 30 minutes up the road; the District 10 field office is a fast drive from the house; and I can get downtown pretty quickly using U.S. Highway 281, which is an even faster trip with the latest expansion.
I moved into this house in November of 1991 and I still love it here. This is only the second home that I’ve ever owned. There are times where I have found myself wondering if I should downsize, but this is the only home my kids have ever known. It’s been a blessing to live in this community and to represent my neighbors.