Your Expert Guide
Headwaters: Where the stars — and homes — are big and bright in Dripping Springs
There are so many great places to live in Austin that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Kuper Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
"We have lived in Barton Creek, Spanish Oaks, Westlake, and Central Austin and loved them all, but there is something about Headwaters that has a piece of our heart," says Camille Abbott. "Word traveled fast that a Realtor had chosen this neighborhood. We heard a lot of 'This must be a great area if you bought here!'"
Enticed by an amazing view that backs to a greenbelt and "the best floorplan ever," Abbott also praises the neighborhood's amenities: a beautiful pool and clubhouse, great gym, dog park, beautiful walking trails, and fiber internet which is paid through the HOA.
Even though she's only lived in Headwaters for the past three years, Abbott was already very familiar with the area. Abbott is a native Texan who began calling Austin home in 1970, so she's known Dripping Springs when it "was only the blinking light at RR12 and Highway 290."
"I have been working in Dripping Springs for about 10 years," the real estate agent says. "Dripping Springs offers my clients the possibility of a little more land within a short drive to Austin, and it is the gateway to the Texas Hill Country. For myself, I loved the look of Headwaters but most of all I loved the idea of looking out my window and seeing the Hill Country every day."
There is a definite small-town vibe to "Drip," Abbott says, even though the area is expanding more with each day.
Residents can expect a farmers market on Wednesdays, with annual events like a Founder's Day celebration and the Dripping Springs Rodeo in the fall. "It's the friendliest neighborhood ever," Abbott says.
Abbott offered up a few more of her personal favorites about life in Headwaters. Here's her guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
"Homespun is a charming small restaurant situated in a little log cabin in the heart of Dripping Springs," she says. "It offers farm-to-table cooking with European and American influences, and everything on the menu has a nutritional purpose. My favorite appetizer is the deviled eggs served with a tiny jalepeno on top for just a little kick, and the shrimp and grits is another favorite."
Abbott points out the restaurant's cozy atmosphere as the ideal setting for dinner with friends or even a date night meal.
"Our first meal here was by accident on Valentine's Day," she says. "We got the last unreserved table, it was great, and we knew we were 'home.'"
Abbott also notes Mazuma, Hudson's on Mercer, Hill Country Ranch Pizzeria, Deep Eddy Distillery, and Suds as favorites.
Where to play
Dripping Springs Ranch Park and Event Center is 130 acres of Texas Hills Country located on RR 12, and offers six miles of scenic trails for hikers, bikers, and trail riders, and leashed dogs welcome.
Equestrians enjoy multiple riding arenas and equine amenities, details Abbott, who rides cutting horses herself as a hobby.
"Throughout the year, you will find this venue is home to the Dripping Springs Rodeo, the FFA Livestock events, equine shows of all disciplines, and trade shows — it's truly a taste of Western cowboy heritage," says Abbott, who herself is a champion at showing cutting horses.
Dripping Springs was the first city in Texas to be designated as an International Dark Sky Community, which assures that the stars at night remain big and bright for stargazers.
It has also been designated by Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas Audubon as a Texas Bird City. There is a bird-viewing station overlooking the pond, and 2022 will see the city host its second annual World Migratory Bird Day Festival of Flight Celebration on May 14.
The Headwaters neighborhood was once a ranch, as Abbott says many of the neighborhoods were in the area, and the developers chose to preserve the ruins of the old ranch house and make it a park and part of the hiking trails.
It sits on a hill overlooking the neighborhood and is maintained by the HOA, with benches and landscaping making it a popular spot to pause.
The HUB, as the community center is called by residents, offers a beautiful pool, gym, and outdoor meeting area, all overlooking the Hill Country. "It is a definite plus for the area and enjoyed by all residents," Abbott says.
What to see
The Pound House was built in 1854-1855 by Joseph and Sarah Pound in an untamed area of Central Texas now known as Dripping Springs. It is believed that Dripping Springs was part of the original wagon route from Austin to Fredericksburg, and the Pounds may have passed through on their journey.
Today, the Pound House is included on the National Register of Historic Places and has been a Texas State Historical Landmark, and offers a living depiction of early life in the Texas Hill Country. The grounds include an oak tree that is over 500 years old called the Heritage Oak. The antique roses that Sarah Pound brought as cuttings to her new home from her native Mississippi in 1853 still thrive today.
Abbott says not to miss the annual Christmas on Mercer, which includes everything from holiday lights to live music, arts and crafts, and movie showings.
Where to live
"Headwaters offers something for everyone: empty nesters, young families, professionals working from home, and single parents, just as a few examples," says Abbott. "The HOA organizes food truck visits, movie nights, mornings with coffee vendors, and all kinds of opportunities for neighbors to get to know one another."
Modern farmhouse is the trending style in the area — expect board and batten exteriors and shiplap accents on the inside. Open living areas with island kitchens are popular and allow guests and family to enjoy being together. Many of the single-story homes sit on larger lots and offer a game room upstairs, with all bedrooms down. All homes back to a greenbelt and most have some sort of a view.
"It is a neighborhood where people walk their dogs and babies in the evenings, gather in the streets, and take care of one another," Abbott says. "We experienced first-hand how the community takes care of each other when my husband had a stroke a year ago. Trash cans were brought in for us and baskets of goodies welcomed us home — the love we felt from our neighbors was awesome."
A recent sale of Abbott's exemplifies the typical Headwaters home: 158 Dayridge, a beautiful, four-bedroom, single-story David Weekly design with a huge bonus room and bath upstairs. Abbott was able to sell the home above asking price within the time frame she had promised her sellers.
"Camille was professional and extremely knowledgeable about the market and sales in the area," says client Ann Pierpoint. "She offered guidance through the process, which made it much less stressful, and was responsive and easy to work with."
Camille Abbott lives, works, and plays in Headwaters. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email email@example.com, or call 512-529-1299.