Together as One

Aq 0102 126pg 0001Wildlife, nature and mankind live as one in this spectacular pool and water feature paradise in San Antonio, Texas.

At first glance, a guest might think about jumping into what looks to be a hot tub situated at the far end of the backyard. That individual would be in for a not-so-pleasant surprise. The octagonal water vessel is actually a bog pond that's home to various lilies and other plants - all part of the pool builder and architect's master plan.

"We worked with the home's architect in the design of the pool project," says Dan Pendley, owner of San Antonio-based River Oaks Pools. "The homeowners wanted the design to match the geometric shapes present in the home. They also wanted the sound of running water in their backyard."

To accomplish this, the builder started with the octagonal bog pond. Water from the bog pond cascades into a coy pond situated just below. The coy pond features more plant life, as well as numerous fish.

A bubble-bead filter system was installed to filter out large particles, but allow others to pass through, encouraging algae growth. "When you have fish in a pool, a pool filter won't cut it. A specialized filter is needed," says Pendley.

"The bubble-bead filter is not intended to keep the water pristine, but allow algae to grow for the fish population."

Following the Oklahoma flagstone around the bog and coy pond toward the home, you come upon a body of water better suited for swimming. Measuring 28 by 43 feet, this concrete pool is perfect for anyone seeking simple relaxation. With depths ranging from 2 feet to 5 feet, the pool is not meant for diving competition, but rather a nice cool dip to escape the Texas heat. And when the owners need further relaxation, a custom spa (not pictured) awaits them, just steps away from the master bedroom.

Chalk it up as just another satisfying project for the builder. "We do a lot of upscale pools - about 140 per year," says Pendley, who began his professional career with a Fortune 500 company before venturing into the pool business. "I didn't want to be another 'me too' pool company.

We want special projects and customers that are recessionproof. Doing this kind of work fires our rockets!"

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