Nine-year-old Tres Davidson and his seven-year-old brother, Wells, fling open the screen door of their family home in San Antonio’s historic King William neighborhood. The boys take off running; about fifty yards away, they reach the edge of the San Antonio River, which flows past the back of their house. The two brothers, along with their older sister, Adele, who is eleven, can often be found outdoors, playing under a centuries-old Montezuma Cypress tree in their backyard, collecting massive bur oak acorns that fall from their neighbor’s tree, or riding their bikes with their mother, San Antonio native Josie Negley Gill.
Gill grew up in the Olmos Park neighborhood but wanted a different experience for her three children. “I wanted to be somewhere that felt totally new and unexplored to me. It was so important that I be in a neighborhood that was also truly walkable and urban, and the fact is, this neighborhood was built before cars, so everything about it is walkable,” she says. “When I first saw the inside of the house, in 2010, it was dark and covered in layers and layers of window treatments. Buying the place was a leap of faith, but I did, and moving into this house and into this neighborhood changed my life.”