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.

The first time I followed my husband (then boyfriend) Jose to San Antonio I couldn’t find my footing. His parents had a business at Poteet Fleamarket, and when we weren’t helping them we were home in our apartment. I didn’t make any connections and felt isolated. I missed my hometown of Monterrey, Mexico dearly.

We returned to Monterrey for some time but realized that if we really wanted to make a better life together, San Antonio was our best bet. The second time moving I kept an open mind and an open heart. Now 13 years later, we can say we’ve accomplished what we set out to do here.

My husband and I found financial stability, started a family, and purchased our own home in the Summit at Bulverde Creek neighborhood on the city’s North Side. We live in a cozy cul-de-sac and much of the neighborhood is actually a series of cul-de-sacs. It’s a safe, quiet subdivision with friendly neighbors and, most importantly, good schools.

For us, having sacrificed so much to move to a new country and build a better life, we want to provide the best for our children so that they can keep building on this foundation we’ve started. The schools here offer students a rigorous curriculum and an excellent support system.

My eldest daughter Frida attends Johnson High School. She’s very focused on her studies and was able to maintain that focus while learning remotely this past year. My son Jose is at Tex Hill Middle School, and he did fairly well with his online studies. I just had to help him stay on top of his homework and make sure his assignments were turned in on time. 

But my youngest son Dastan is in elementary school, so it was a much bigger challenge for him. He loves socializing with his classmates and getting to know his teachers. On top of missing out on that interaction, his neighbor friends moved away during the pandemic. I could tell it was taking a toll on him. The first chance he got to go back to campus, he asked me to send him back.

While the schools were the main reason we chose Summit at Bulverde Creek, we are also fortunate to be located within a 10-minute drive of plenty of shops, restaurants, and parks. The Village at Stone Oak shopping center, known by locals as La Canterita for its resemblance to La Cantera, is nearby, but construction on U.S. Highway 281, on top of the pandemic, has really slowed down business there and many shops have closed.

I’d like to see more small businesses in the area. What we have is mostly chain retailers and restaurants, so if you want something more local and unique, you have to go downtown. The demand for these types of offerings and the desire to support local businesses is definitely here, so I hope to see more business owners looking at this area for future locations.

The family that owns and operates Vida Mia is from Monserrat’s hometown of Monterrey, Mexico. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

The only thing we don’t like about the neighborhood is the hassle of the homeowners association. They’re always checking on your lawn and whether or not you moved your trash cans back quickly enough, not to mention having to get approval for any change to your home, like a new exterior paint color or new fence. But, honestly, the HOA is a big part of the reason why Summit at Bulverde Creek stays as nice as it is, so it’s worth the hassle.

We recently visited Monterrey for the first time in many years. Of course, the city holds a special place in our hearts and being there brought on a wave of nostalgia. But it also confirmed that San Antonio is home. We’ve built a beautiful life here and made so many wonderful friends. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. And if I ever miss Monterrey, there are plenty of restaurants serving up Nuevo Leon-style Mexican food to choose from. I especially recommend Vida Mia in Stone Oak.