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Rustic Elligence on a Working Ranch Vacation Resort With Lots of Water

Bedrooms 3
Space 2,500 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

Newly Renovated And Refurnished 3 Bedroom 3 Bath Creekside Residence

Check out the Riachuelo Ranch video Web Link and our web site <www.riachueloranch,com>

Also note that we have another vrbo listing , (our Lodge )Property #573890.

The Creek House is Rustic Elegance in Serene Seclusion with plenty to do and see. All very well furnished with more than you would expect to find in a five star hotel. Not just clean sheets soap and towels, but a kitchen pantry with and utensils that you would find in your own home. Just bring groceries and enjoy life. If you do not find what you need, just ask the owners and they can probably fill your request.

For even larger families and gatherings check out expanding to include our Lodge (Property # 573890)

Outside, we have a fire ring on solid rock alongside the creek with plenty of fire wood. There is plenty of seating on the patio as well as Lazy Boy chairs and dining on the deck. Naps anyone? Or just read from our large library or chat and listen to the waterfall and watch the children play in the creek. Then there is WiFi and CDs, but who wants to be inside?

The Creek House has recently been renovated and decorated in the Western Style. It has three bedrooms each with its own bath. Two bedrooms are located at opposite ends of the living area. The master bedroom has a King Size bed and the other bedroom features a Queen size Sleep Number bed, each have easy chairs and ample storage and closets.

The private Studio suite is just across a carport and has a queen size Sleep Number bed and a set of bunk beds. Kids of all ages will love this hideaway setup.

The spacious living/dining area has a rustic fireplace built of stones which were gathered off the ranch and there is plenty of firewood and comfortable seating. The dining table seats eight easily. and there is a four place round table just across the room that the kids may prefer.

There is a spacious shaded deck that overlooks the creek with a walkover bridge in a stone dam that backs up a small lake which flows out in a stepped waterfall. On the deck there is a gas brazer for outdoor cooking as well as a table and a number of chairs. There is a large flag stoned creek side patio right alongside the stream.

The ranch is our yard. We have 1200 acres that include woods and meadows and cliffs and canyons, a rock strewn spring fed stream with a number of lakes to explore. Animals abound and bird watching is one of our favorite sports. The hunting blinds are fed year around and just sitting in one of them in the evening and watching the deer of several species come feed is a rare treat. The wild turkeys roam at will and in the early spring they put on a real show.

We have hunters that occupy our Lodge in hunting season. The Lodge is a quarter of a mile upstream. The hunters are here mostly on long weekends in November and December. They also come up to just visit and tend the feeders at a dozen blinds about every six to eight weeks and are just like part of our family.

The Lodge (Property # 573890) is rented out for most of the year. Check it out if you need more space for a large group.

There is a first class shooting range with target boards at 5, 25, 50, 100 and 200 meters where visitors can sight in their guns or just try their hand at pistol, rifle or shotgun skills. We discourage plinking around in the pastures.

The naturally stocked lakes and ponds yield up plenty of fish. Black bass are put back if they are under 11 inches or over 15 inches. We are sure that many of the over 20 inch long bass have been caught a number of times. Eat all of the mid-sized bass, catfish and bluegills you are skilled enough to catch.

This is a hiking and bird watching enthusiasts delight. Don't forget to bring your cameras. You will want to take lots of pictures.

If you care to check out the Hill Country and the inclination, there are looping drives that you can take through the Hill Country back-roads and along the North and South forks of the Guadalupe River. Each little town has its share of unique eating places. In the spring wild flowers abound. Most people stay right here on the ranch.

Shoppers may want to explore quaint old Fredericksburg which is less than an hour away.

The land that is now Riachuelo Ranch was first settled by the Byas family thus Byas Springs and Byas Branch. We are told that their homestead porch rested on the rock walls that enclose the spring by the Lodge. There are still traces of midden rock in the area that attest to the fact that this spot was once an Indian tribes kitchen. The land has been passed down through many hands before ours.

In 1988 Bernard ended a five year Odyssey of sailing the high seas and came home to the Hill Country of Texas. He purchased parcels of land over the next three years totaling a little over 1,200 acres. A wild fire roared through the area around 1965. Where this fire swept, a swath of half burned cedar with a thick regrowth of sumac and cactus evolved. The rest of the land was covered with cedar and more cactus.

The first ten years were spent first studying what was to be done with this tangle of unproductive and mostly impenetrable land and then clearing the land in a premeditated sculpture leaving enough cedar brush for the wildlife to have cover and habitat and enough open space to grow the grass and leafy plants to feed them plus some domestic animals.

Over the years a hunting lodge and two very nice homes were built, one by the creek and one on top of a high bluff overlooking several lakes. Limestone cliffs give birth to natural springs that are the source that feeds the lakes and three thousand feet of lovely shaded stream through the ranch. Byas Branch flows on beyond our place into Johnson Creek and on to the Guadalupe River.

The property is divided into seven pastures designed to accommodate the handling of livestock. Over the years we have had sheep, horses and cattle but now we confine our livestock efforts to the raising of a clean line of badger faced black Spanish goats that are sold mostly to ethnic markets for their meat.

There is a horse ring, corral and tack room where guests can keep their horses between long rides through miles of woods and meadow land and be with nature to their hearts content. Then there are many who will enjoy just hiking or riding their ATVs.

A major portion of a lifetime has been devoted to making this into a place of natural beauty and now we want to share it with you. Help us by picking up every scrap of man's litter that you may come across, and be sure that you leave nothing behind.

Enjoy every minute of your stay.

More Details

Bernard Syfan
Member since: 2014
Premier Partner

This VRBO partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great traveler experience.

Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
December 16, 2017

About Bernard Syfan

Bernard's family came to the Hill Country for vacations and weekends since his parents came here on their honeymoon in 1915 via train and buggy. He likes to say that he has been coming to the hills since before he was born and has spent the best part of his life here.

When he got out of business in California and came home from sailing for five years of sailing from Seattle to Turkey and back to the US it was to 'the hills' where his heart had always resided.

All of his family was here and his roving the world was put aside. He decided to settle down and be a rancher.

Bernard's grandfather established the first vacation subdivision in Kerr County on the Guadalupe river and his parents had their honeymoon there in 1915 after a three day train and buggy ride to 'the hills' as we always called it.

Bernard likes to say that he has been coming to the hills since before he was born which was in 1926. After a stint in the navy he graduated from Texas A&M with a BS in Civil Engineering, He worked as an engineer, builder and developer until 1983 when he went sailing on his five year Odyssey. When he came 'home' it was to 'the hills' where his heart had always resided.

Rosalie grew up in California & Oregon. In Beaverton, OR she took classes in appreciation of literature, worked as a hairdresser & taught dancing. She lived in the Los Angeles area for 42 yrs. Rosalie was president of the Hidden Hills Community Theater for four years and was instrumental in starting their children's theater program. She is a past president of the Valley Chapter of Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, which raises seed money for cancer research at UCLA. She took classes at a local college & made the Deans list for three years. She also had a jewelry business for 20 yrs. In 2005 she moved to Kerrville, Texas where she met & married Bernard 2013. Her most recent accomplishment was publishing her book 'Destruction of Innocence', a memoir by Rosalie Hollingsworth is a must read.

Bernard Syfan purchased this house in 1986

Why Bernard Syfan chose Mountain Home

Bernard picked this particular property because of its character, uniqueness and potential for conversion from a brush and cactus tangled old ranch into a self supporting, productive and park-like place of serene beauty.

The naturally stocked lakes and ponds yield up plenty of fish. Black bass are put back if they are under 11' or over 15'. We are sure that many of the over 20' bass have been caught a number of times. Eat all of the mid-sized bass, catfish and bluegills you are skilled enough to catch.

This is a hiking and bird watching enthusiasts delight. Don't forget to bring your cameras. You will want to take lots of pictures.

If you have time and the inclination, there are looping drives that you can take through the Hill Country back-roads and along the North and South forks of the Guadalupe River.

What makes this house unique

When you stay with us at our Creek House, you will experience living in a house that has all of the comforts of rustic elegance, but you will be in an atmosphere of quit serenity surrounded by nature where you can pick up a book or stroll along the creek or hike over miles of ranch roads. You can sit on the shaded deck and enjoy listening to the little waterfalls, or you can just be together with ones that you love in a place that you will never forget.


Nearest Airport
68 Miles
Kerrville 20 mi. San Antonio 68 mi.-Austin 80+ mi.
Nearest Barpub
8 Miles
Ingram, TX
Nearest Golf
18 Miles
Nearest Train
68 Miles
San Antonio
Nearest Motorway
1 Miles
State Highway 27 One mile-I-10 Mile post 492-4mls
Nearest Restaurant
11 Miles
Nearest Ski
500 Miles
New Mexico
Nearest Beach
150 Miles
Corpus Christe
Car: necessary

You have found a rural, park-like, destination resort .

We think that once you see this 1200 acre Ranch with its canyons, lakes and streams and the Western opulence of natural beauty, you will want to stay right here and enjoy a quite relaxing visit with nature and plenty of things to experience within walking distance. In fact this ranch is proving to be the ultimate Destination. Seldom does anyone leave the ranch. They see what they want to do right here.

We offer a big sky view of the stars as you roam the ranch in the evening or just relax and enjoy the beauty at hand.

Roaming the ranch by itself is a treat. There is so much to do and see like bird watching, shooting, walking on the ranch roads or up the rocky canyons, fishing and being in the midst of the wildlife like wild turkeys and deer that feed just across the way, seeing the fireflies and the goats and the dogs that live in the pasture with them as protectors. Not to mention the quiet serenity and being away from the rush of city life.

Many of our inquirers have asked if we have a comfortable place to go swimming. Now we have a 40' x 50' x 5' deep Swimming Hole. It is nestled against a concrete dam/retaining wall and against a steep limestone bluff. The pool is to be enclosed by a wall with 48 feet of infinity topping and a small sand beach next to the bluff on one end and an 8' x 25' willow tree shaded deck at poolside against the existing dam. The water that tops the infinity edge is to be gathered and directed to the downstream corner of the pool where it trickles down a steep boulder waterfall feature.

Near the the pool is a panic area with horseshoe pitch, washer pitch, volleyball area, drinking fountain and outdoor bathroom; all in a pecan tree shaded area bottom.

This is ready for the summer fun. We are sure that anyone that strolls up the creek will be enticed to just sit a while at poolside and enjoy the quiet flow of natural spring water as it makes its way on down the creek.

You will have to come visit to fully appreciate this fitting extension of Rustic Elegance.

If you have horses, bring them along and ride the endless trails on the ranch through canyons and among the oak trees or across the expanse of grassy meadow lands. We have a good coral and ring to hold your mounts when they are not under saddle and a fine tack room to keep your tack out of the weather.

Don't forget just old fashioned walking. Take to the many ranch roads or stroll up the tree-lined creek looking for minnows, frogs or fossils that are evidence that the limestone formations that you walk on were once an ocean bed eons ago.

Bring your guns, amo. and targets. Both of our ranges have a roofed places to stand or sit to in the shade while you shoot. Target backboards are set up at 32 feet for pistols and at 25, 50, and 100 meters for rifles. If you have shotguns, we have flingers for clay pigeons. The original range is reserved for light shooting and our new Canyon Range canyon is used for heavy shooting, there you can bang away as much as you want.

There are lakes well stocked with large mouth bass, perch and catfish for those with the skill and patience. Actually the young ones have a ball with a pole and live bate. There are a lot of weeds but that does not seem to deter. The large mouth bass are catch and release for anything over 15' but eat all you want between 11 and 15 inches long and all the catfish and perch you are skilled enough to land.

If you chose to wonder the area there are many interesting places to go and things to do. The giant Cyprus trees that line the Guadalupe River make the river one of the Hill Country's crowning glories, 20 minutes drive along the river to Hunt there is a restaurant called Elaine's Table, a good place to dine as you view the flowing river and dam. As you approach the city of Hunt you can chose either of the two fork of the Guadalupe river for a scenic drive. Either forks is defiantly a photo opportunity drive. The Guadalupe River originates in this area with the many springs that leap out of the Edwards limestone formation. One can play in it, slide down the spillway at the dam in Ingram, tube down it or just drive along its banks for many miles.

If you want to shop there is the quaint, old and well preserved town of Fredericksburg or antiquing in the Ingram Loop 10 minutes away or the town of Comfort within a half hour drive. Bandera claims to be the oldest cowboy town in the west and is 30 minutes away. On the way to Bandera is Camp Verde Restaurant which is near an old Cavalry Post where the US Army had imported Camels.


Mountain Home House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2500 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Beachfront ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace ...
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , shower
  • The master bath suite contains a sink and counter cabinet and a closet in one space and a tub/shower and toilet in a separate space. Number two has a shower/tub, sink and toilet. The studio has a shower, sink and a toilet.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , Queen size bed has a Sleep Number air matress
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen , 2 bunk bed
  • The master bedroom with it's large King size bed and the number two bedroom with it's feature Sleep Number queen size beds, and comfortable seating, presents quality choices. The third bedroom we call the Studio. It has a Queen size bed and two bunks, a bath and closet. Kids of all ages will love this hide away.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Tennis ...
  • 1 bicycles
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair accessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • Private Pool ...
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • horseshoes
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • spelunking
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water tubing
If you would like to learn more about the ranch, please visit our web site at: . Note that we also have a very nice Lodge which is available for overflow. It sleeps an additional 14+ people in one Queen, eight bunks and two couch beds which are sometimes used as doubles. The Lodge is not up to the standard of the Creek House but check the photos and see that it is quite nice for the larger groups or gatherings. We are available for Weddings, family gatherings and company meetings. We offer much more than just a fantastic place to stay, you can walk, run, ride bikes, fish, play in the creek, shoot your guns, read, or just relax in as beautiful and serene places that you are ever likely to find anywhere.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(40 traveler reviews)

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Rustic Elligence on a Working Ranch Vacation Resort With Lots of Water
average rating of 4.975 based on 40 reviews
San Antonio

R&R Out at the Ranch!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I stayed at the Creek House with our dog and 2 year old son. It is a beautiful home with plenty of space and has everything you need. We had warm days and cold nights so we got to take advantage of the fire place at night and the creek and swimming hole during the day. The shooting range was an added plus and Jeff was so kind to take us to visit the goats and let my son pet one of the babies.

We will definitely be coming back to stay later this year!!

  • Submitted: Mar 4, 2017
  • Stayed: February 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Wonderful guest clean and quite. Couldn't ask for better guest.
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Awesome place

  • 5 of 5

This was our second stay and loved it again. Grandkids already want to go back!

  • Submitted: Aug 22, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Awesome Place - done right

  • 5 of 5

Great place. Great Owners. Done right.

  • Submitted: Aug 21, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Crosby, Texas

Maintained really nice and on one of the most beautiful places in the hill country.

  • 5 of 5

Rolling grass covered hilltops with oak trees abu abundant everywhere. Really beautiful sunsets and scenic outlooks with all the rustic charm that the hill country has to offer. Plenty of wildlife for the photographer to wear out the best of cameras. Easy to cool off in the creeks pools and ponds that run throughout the property. A real gem of a place.

  • Submitted: Jul 11, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Relaxing beauty in the Hill Country

  • 5 of 5

My family and I stayed here between July 2 and 7, 2017. There were seven adults, and the accommodations were excellent. There is plenty of room in the Creek House and guest cabin. We have rented several vacation homes through VRBO, and this was, by far, the most enjoyable place we have stayed. The kitchen is fully stocked and has everything you would need in great shape and plentiful. The beds are comfortable, and every room was spotless.

Beyond this, the location is absolutely beautiful. All or some of us fed the herd of goats 3 times. The creek is just below the house and creates a relaxing ambience. The birds are all about. The swimming hole is a few minutes upstream on foot.

And the Syfans are a wonderful couple and provide great hospitality. We would do this again in a heartbeat.

  • Submitted: Jul 10, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Porter, TX

Perfect Spot for Family Vacation

  • 5 of 5

Our family of 10 (6 adults and 4 toddlers) loved our stay at the Creek House and Riachuelo Ranch! The picturesque landscape and the relaxing atmosphere made this one of our family’s favorite vacation spots for our annual summer get -away. We had a great time enjoying nature. We fished at the pond, swam in the swimming hole, fed the goats and flew kites. We visited Jellystone in Kerrville one afternoon, and the kids had a blast. Bernard and Rosalie are the most welcoming, accommodating vacation home owners we have ever encountered; they have thought of everything and are so gracious about sharing their wonderful home. I will recommend this place to all my family and friends. It's one of a kind!

  • Submitted: Jun 12, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you and we enjoyed having aoo of you with us.
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Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee $200 + Tax
Refundable damage deposit $1,000
Cleaning Fee $200 + Tax
Tax Rate 6.0%

Please do not leave your animals in the house while you are away, it is important to bring a cage or put them in the dog run or Laundry room. Male dogs will often lift their leg in a strange house, you are responsible for damages. Two (2) dog maximum. Extra roll-away bed fee of $50. per request over 8 guest.

For larger parties, we can accommodate an additional 14 guests in our nearby Lodge. See property # 573890

Check in time, 4:00pm, check out, 10:00am, if the house is not booked for the next few days, then it is flexible.

A fee of $150.00 will be charged for each night under the posted minimum stay.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.

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