Texas architect Trey Rabke reimagines his family's country getaway, tying the design firmly to the land around it
In the middle of Texas Hill country, on ninety acres of open fields and dense forests bordered by the Guadalupe River, sits a house that seems to fold into the terrain itself, its most distinguishing feature a long, deep porch made of rough-hewn limestone, bookended by a massive outdoor hearth. Even from afar, it’s clear that the porch is the soul of this place—and that’s exactly how architect Trey Rabke wanted it.
While Rabke designs numerous modern houses for Lake Flato Architects in nearby San Antonio each year, this house was personal. He had been coming here with his parents and three brothers since he was a child. And now his family needed more room.
The premise of the redesign was simple. The family didn’t need a fancy house that shielded them from the outdoors—they wanted it to be part of the landscape. Rabke was careful to maintain that spirit and built on the footprint of the original cabin (a one-room structure once used as a base camp for hunters), keeping the fireplace and stone porch for sentimental reasons. “In the old house that’s where we spent our time, had our dinners and parties. We loved preserving that,” Rabke says. In the new cabin, the rustic farm table is still the site of long family dinners and celebrations outside.