The Decker Family – Building a Beautiful Life in Cordillera Ranch

By:
Kimberly A. Suta
Photography By:
David Teran

building a beautiful life in cordillera

For Lauren and Chance Decker, along with their two adorable children, it seems like ending up at Cordillera Ranch was always in the cards. You might even call it fate.

“I always knew we’d end up in the Hill Country. During COVID, we realized life was too short, and our kids were growing up Houstonians, but we wanted to raise them in the Hill Country,” explained Chance. “We fell in love with Boerne and Cordillera, and it has been a fantastic decision.” Chance was born and raised in Hondo, Texas and still has a ranch in the area that has been in the family since 1840. He and his cousins run a quail hunting business on the ranch and being closer, only an hour away from their home in Cordillera, enables Chance to more easily care for the place. “We wouldn’t trade living here for anything. It’s why we moved here,” said Lauren, who was born in Midland, Texas but grew up mostly in Katy. She went to the University of Texas to be a teacher then moved back to Houston for work. She soon realized teaching wasn’t her path and so she switched to IT sales. She’s now a Regional Territory Manager for the Unstructured Data Division at Dell Technologies, working with companies to address the growing needs of storing, managing and protecting unstructured data. As she works with a lot of large healthcare institutions, the high-volume storage solutions she supports, indirectly, affects people’s lives.

“I taught ninth grade geography before I switched. I was 22 years old, and I just felt like I didn’t have enough real-world experience under my belt at the time,” recalled Lauren. “It absolutely was the right choice to switch career paths. I love my job at Dell and how every day is different, depending on my customers’ needs. Getting to work with some of the top medical institutions in Texas, delivering solutions I believe in, is something I enjoy.”

It was in Houston, while Chance was in his first year of law school at the University of Houston, where the two met through a mutual friend. “We met at a bowling alley. It was a black-tie birthday party at an old bowling alley in Bellaire. Not a nice place but it was kind of fun to get dressed up,” shared Lauren.

Chance confided, “When I walked in and saw her, I thought, ‘Yup, she’s the one. I’m done.’” Although Chance was instantly smitten, unfortunately Lauren already had a boyfriend.

It took three years of patience and perseverance on Chance’s part, until Valentine’s Day, 2009. “A big group of single friends decided to meet up for brunch. We played pool then decided to go to dinner, then ended the night dancing, and we had our first kiss,” said Lauren, warmly. “Then I left my business card in his car because he didn’t ask for my number.”

“Because she made me wait three years,” Chance laughed. “I couldn’t seem too eager. Plus, I knew I could get her number from her roommate.”

Cupid’s arrow struck straight and true this time, however, and the two were engaged by Christmas. They now have a 10-year-old boy, Wells Knight, and a seven-year-old girl, Elliott Blair.

Cordillera seemed like the natural choice when they finally decided to leave Houston as Lauren’s parents and aunt and uncle already lived in the community, and of course, the Hondo ranch was much closer. They moved into a rental in the neighborhood in 2021 while their house was being built, and finally moved into their own brand-new home last April.

Chance now works as a construction and commercial litigator for the Cokinos Young Law Firm, which is based in Houston but has an office and major presence in San Antonio. “I primarily represent construction companies and design professionals like architects and engineers in commercial construction defect disputes,” said Chance. Reading and writing have always been Chance’s natural academic skill set, so a career in the law was the perfect fit for him.

“I enjoy the competitive part of being a trial lawyer. There are very few careers where you basically have a competition and there’s a winner and a loser, and that excitement and adrenaline is what I love about practicing law,” he elaborated.

So, what does this young, vivacious couple do in their free time?

“Kids and work, that’s all,” said Lauren. “I do enjoy running in the neighborhood. It’s calming and the views of the hills never get old, no matter which path I take. Sometimes I curse the hills, but in the long run, pun intended, they’re worth it.”

But most of the time, the family is shuffling back-and-forth between the kids’ activities, whether it be baseball, dance, gymnastics, football or basketball. If you have kids around this age, you probably sympathize.

Thankfully, last summer Chance and Lauren were able to get away to Scotland for a 10-day holiday, traveling to five different cities by car, playing golf at St. Andrews and, admittedly, drinking plenty of Scotch.

Still, they wouldn’t want their busy lives any other way, and the icing on the cake is that now family is close-by. This past holiday they enjoyed some family time at the Boerne Christmas Parade for the third year in a row. “It’s an exciting time, seeing joy on everyone’s faces. There are also birthdays around this time, so we get to enjoy spending that time with everyone,” said Lauren.

During the summers, the kids love swimming at their aunt and uncle’s pool, who live across the golf course, and the whole family takes advantage of the Clubhouse, from swim parties to the Kids’ Club and, of course, dinner when time’s too short to cook. “Right now, it’s the turkey pot pie for Elliott and sliders for Wells, although they both equally love the sliders and sweet potato fries. And Jeff and Jerrek make a mean milkshake,” said Lauren.

“We love walking into the Clubhouse and immediately see 20 different people that we know,” said Lauren. “I like the Cordillera community because we all kind of look out for one another. I feel comfortable allowing the kids to introduce themselves to any person in the neighborhood and show respect. I feel like they’re getting to learn things that they weren’t when we lived in Houston.”

Time permitting, Chance likes to go hunting in South Texas, and sometimes brings Wells, who enjoys some one-on-one time with his dad. “I’m crazy about big South Texas white tail deer,” said Chance. “I think it’s therapeutic to be outdoors. When you’re sitting in the deer blind, you’re not just sitting there by yourself, you’re sitting with your dad who took you as a kid, or your grandfather or grandmother who loved hunting and the outdoors as well. You’re tapping into a part of the human psyche that’s evolved over 200,000 years. It’s just good for you to be in nature.”

According to Lauren, Chance likes to hunt any kind of game, and Chance shared that he’s working on his skills as a wild game chef. He’s got plans to make a routeed duck Cajun dish, a hyper-local recipe popular in the south Lafourche parish in Louisiana, this Christmas. Maybe if you get to know the Deckers, you’ll get invited over for one of their amazing dinners.

So, keep your eye out for the Deckers at the Clubhouse for a chance to make some amazing new and hopefully lifelong friends!

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