Dr. Robert and Lisa Bowling Invest in Community
By Cheryl Van Tuyl Jividen :: Photography by Mark Humphries
With a laugh, Lisa Bowling says, “I am realizing that in the five-plus years we have lived here, we have lived in three homes and have owned four homes. I had never really stopped to add it up! And … we are not done yet! Always on the lookout for another one!” For Lisa and her Port Arthur high school sweetheart husband Robert, it’s a shared hobby, adding, “We love anything real estate-related: building homes, remodeling and flipping homes. We love to stay busy with projects.”
The couple wed the same year they both graduated from Lamar University — he with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology and she with a BS in Elementary Education. Robert fulfilled a family legacy by receiving an advanced degree in Osteopathic Medicine, starting a family practice and becoming a 4th generation family physician. Lisa taught elementary school while Robert was in medical school, then stayed home to raise their three daughters, at which time she got her Master’s in educational counseling, worked as a realtor and had a small furniture-painting business.
In Port Neches, close to their hometown, they planted roots and first got the real estate bug. “We did several homes while living in Port Neches. It is funny because we built our first home there in 1988 and lived there for about 20 years while raising our family. We loved the stability of staying in one place for our daughters. However, in 2007 when our last daughter left for college, we started our real estate hobby. We have built, remodeled, lived in and flipped at least six homes since then. Both Robert and I are incredibly involved in these projects,” says Lisa.
When daughter, Bailey, was at school at the University of Texas San Antonio, she heard about Cordillera Ranch from a friend and suggested it to her parents. The timing was ideal. “After living, working and raising a family, we were ready for a new adventure,” says Robert, “Looking toward a future life as empty nesters, as grandparents and looking forward to a change from the coastal flatlands, the Texas Hill Country looked like the place.” Lisa agrees, “We fell in love with the views and the lifestyle Cordillera Ranch provided. It seemed to be a great fit and balance for Robert who wanted some space and land and an avenue for me to meet people. It’s also a perfect mix of having time just as a couple but also lots of opportunities to make friends and be active with others.”
The Bowlings chose Garner Homes to build their first Cordillera Ranch home and moved into it in 2014. For the first year, Robert commuted back and forth to work at his Port Neches medical practice. Though she thought she would accompany him often on those work visits, Lisa says she was happily distracted, “I spent time getting established in the Hill Country and becoming acquainted with the neighborhood and the wonderful neighbors. Because of all the activity opportunity at the Ranch and getting busy immediately, I only went a couple of times. It was evident our new life in Cordillera Ranch would be a good and full one!”
Full, but there was still room for their passion of real estate. Two-and-a-half years later they sold the house and moved into a rental property in Cordillera Ranch while they had Garner build yet another home, moving into it in 2018. They built the second home right next door to the first home. “On Greystone Point, we are on the edge of Cordillera Ranch property and look out over a gorgeous view with miles of beautiful ranch land and it’s one of the best views on the Ranch. Not willing to give up that scenic backdrop, the lot next door seemed to be the perfect spot for the second home. It was a great location for family to gather with lots of activities in the Hill Country area for all of us,” says Lisa. Additionally, she says, “Cordillera Ranch Summer Camps for the grandchildren were a definite plus. We knew it would be a place that the family would love to come and visit.”
The home affords plenty of fun with their Labrador, Gracie, who has accompanied Robert on many hunting trips, Labradoodle, Miley, and visiting family. Oldest daughter, Brooke Bowling Hall, is the family’s 5th generation family physician, living in North Richland Hills with children Luke and Emma. Their middle daughter, Blaire Bowling Hickman, is an attorney and her husband Christopher is the VP of Finance for Crown Castle. They live in Alpharetta, Georgia with children Preston and Ellen and are expecting another son in October. And youngest daughter, Bailey Bowling Wehe, is a registered nurse at Methodist Boerne Emergency Center and is currently in Nurse Practitioner School. Her husband, Kevin, is a golf coach and world history teacher at his alma mater Smithson Valley High School. They live in Spring Branch with toddler daughter, Brooklyn, and newborn son, Bryson. Lisa has the delightful pleasure of having the children with her once a week, “Because of their ages, we mostly stay home and play, do crafts, read and snuggle. But we also love the Cordillera Ranch park and taking walks outside. We swim in our pool, but as they get older, we will take them to the Club pool. Some of our other older grandkids have enjoyed the Ranch Summer Camps, and the Memorial Day Pool Party is always an annual family event for our entire family to attend. This year will be our first year to miss it because of the quarantine and not all our family was able to be here. However, we hope to be back strong next year!”
A few years ago, the Bowling’s bought their first “older” home built in the early 2000s in Cordillera Ranch. We purchased it together with another resident couple, Mark and Marcia Pratt. The four of us remodeled and updated it. We leased it for a couple of years then sold it. This March we just purchased another older home that we remodeled and updated. It kept us very busy during the quarantine. Our first tenants moved in this June. Since moving to Boerne, we have only been investing in Cordillera Ranch properties. We stay in this community because we always know we have a safe and sound investment, and when we use it for rental property, we know the folks who live out here will be a good match and we know we will have high-end renters.”
Their hobby is a team effort, and Lisa and Robert each have their own role, “I tease Robert that I am the brains and he is the laborer! It’s not really meant to be that way but as it works out, I love the planning, deciding what to remodel or update, picking and ordering all the selections such as paint colors, lighting, hardware or whatever is needed. Robert is truly the worker. He can do it all from hanging fans, new lights, hanging shades, repairing and/or building anything needed. He has tiled a patio, but his favorite part is the yard and landscaping. When the yards are overgrown, he totally redoes the landscaping, pulling out the old and redoing the sprinkler system, planting new plants, grass and topping with fresh mulch. I have never seen anyone work as hard as he does. He spends hours and hours in the yard. I am usually the cleaning crew as we finish things. We really make a great team. We work hard but love it all!” says Lisa.
When not hosting family, the Bowlings enjoy Cordillera’s amenities and activities. They kayak on the river and like hiking the many trails on the Ranch. They participate in Couples Bible Study and Wine Club, and have hosted these groups in their home several times.
Robert, who is in the Men’s Group, is an outdoorsman and avid hunter who especially appreciates duck hunting. He says, “I’ve enjoyed hunting trips and being on a lease with Cordillera Ranch Outfitter Shane Reynolds. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Cordillera Ranch Devils River Trip.”
First introduced to tennis with the Cordillera Ranch Net Chix, Lisa says she was “immediately hooked.” She now spends most mornings on the tennis court playing with other women residents. She also plays for the Cordillera Ranch Team in the United States Tennis Association.
Robert and Lisa have made lasting friendships. Lisa explains, “’We are just amazed at the fine friends that have been made in the few years since moving here. It feels like they have been lifelong friends and strong relationships were established very quickly. Such a wonderful group of successful but down-to-earth individuals. People seem to have their priorities in order with God, family, friends and relationships being most important. The blessing of material things is nice but not the most important. That is unique and refreshing in many ways! We both feel very blessed to be living the good life! Cordillera Ranch is truly a dream come true.”
It is those friendships and people that have inspired Robert to open his medical practice in Bergheim and serve the community they love. Robert is passionate about his 35-year vocation, saying, “I love my job working in medicine and helping others with their health. This was instilled in me at an early age with my aunt, grandfather and father all being family physicians.” After moving to Boerne, Robert has had his office in San Antonio for the last five years. His dream has been to get back to Boerne — closer to home and Cordillera Ranch — to take care of the neighbors and friends he has come to love. Opening in July, Robert’s new office is on Highway 46, just behind the former Bergheim General Store. Fitting for the real estate hobbyists, Lisa says, “The practice will be located in a darling old farmhouse that is over 100 years old. It is charming, quirky and full of personality! We were lucky to stumble on it. It’s literally across the street from Cordillera Ranch!” Its not just a change of place — the business will be different as well. Robert will be continuing care for his Cordillera Ranch patients and others with a Direct Primary Care practice that is VIP/Concierge-based. Says Robert, “The focus will be back on the patient the way medicine is supposed to be. I’ll accept fewer patients than in a normal traditional insurance-driven medical practice, therefore, having the time needed to fully address and take care of whatever needs the patient may have.” That format includes round-the-clock access to him, same day visits and even house calls as needed.
Lisa, who will be managing the office side of the business, says it’s all exhilarating, “We are both very busy people, type A, energetic and on the move. Unlike most people, we enjoy change. We are excited for the new and different. It keeps life interesting!”