Located off FM 1826 just a few miles east of the Salt Lick are three hidden neighborhood gems; Radiance, Goldenwood, and Goldenwood West.
Over 100 years ago, Charles Christal exchanged 40 acres at the corner of Guadalupe and 45th for 900 hill country acres. The family of nine lived in a tiny log cabin on the ranch that is still there today.
In the early 1980s, a group of Austinites inspired by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s vision of creating ideal villages purchased Christal Ranch.
To pay for the development of Radiance, the co-op sold lots in Goldenwood and Goldenwood West. Radiance became the oldest as well as the first-planned, Transcendental Meditation community in the United States. The 4500 square foot meditation dome still serves as a reminder of the community’s origins and regularly hosts yoga classes for the public. While fewer residents practice meditation today, the focus on living consciously is still a draw. Radiance is home to the first Leed Platinum Certified home in Austin.
Today, the three communities are neighbors with Rim Rock, a high-end residential development; the Wizard Academy Business School; a world-renowned Hindu temple; and a beautiful outdoor Tuscan Chapel where couples can marry for free.
Although much of the neighborhood surroundings have changed over the decades, the neighborhoods have remained essentially the same. Many of the homes were built in the 80s and 90s on 1-5 acre lots. Because the centuries’ old oak and cedar trees were purposefully preserved during development, an abundance of wildlife can still find shelter in an area fast transitioning from rural to suburbia.
You can hike Friday Mountain and see hill country views for miles any direction, still unearth arrowheads in a creek bed that has had little human contact, raise goats and chickens, stargaze at night and relish the silence.
The tri-neighborhood is located in Hays County, in the Dripping Springs’ school district, but outside the city limits. This means there are no city taxes. Since the communities are on well and septic, there isn’t a MUD tax either. Homeowners benefit from one of the lowest tax rates in the area as well as low utility bills and an award-winning school district.
There is so much history here. I’m so grateful that this is where my husband and I landed upon arriving from Dallas 20 years ago. This is where our son developed his love for nature and where I rediscovered mine.