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11 September . 2020

The Gavriel family finds a warm Texas welcome in Sweetwater

As successful self-employed professionals, Maria and Cyrus Gavriel could have moved anywhere when they decided to relocate from New York last year. Having already lived in places as diverse as Europe and California, this family of four was definitely open to a new adventure, even one far from their current home on Long Island. 

Though they had never been to Texas, they kept hearing positive things about Austin from family, friends and the media, so last year they decided to fly down for an exploratory visit over Thanksgiving.

“Over and over, Austin kept popping up as a great place to live, and nobody ever had a negative thing to say,” Maria said. “We decided there had to be something very special about this place, and we had to check it out.”

The family’s early research led them to the Lakeway area near Sweetwater, and they immediately fell in love with it. 

“With the rolling hills and topography change, the landscape reminded us of parts of France, Greece and California,” Maria said.

The Gavriels also liked the location of the Lakeway area, sitting between downtown Austin and the heart of the Texas Hill Country.

“We’re not city people, but we appreciated the benefits of living about 30 minutes from the center of such a major thriving city as Austin, to take advantage of professional conferences, culture and the airport,” Maria said. 

About six months after their first visit to Austin, they Gavriels returned this summer for a “more serious look.” Soon after returning back to New York, they learned of an available home in Sweetwater that had everything they were looking for. 

“It was as if someone had read our minds and said, here’s your perfect home,” Maria recalls. “One of our priorities was to have a view, and this home borders on a greenbelt reserve, with a trail running right past.”

The family also liked what they saw as they toured the rest of Sweetwater. 

“The more we learned about Sweetwater, it became sweeter and sweeter. Our son loves the basketball court at the Sweetwater Club, and we love to hike on the trails, especially by moonlight,” said Maria. “I’m also looking forward to reserving the gatherings spaces at the Sweetwater Club and Overlook Club for my seminars.”

Maria is a transformational career coach for women, and an award-winning author, speaker and activist. She works with clients around the world, and has done pro bono work for women in Africa. Her passion is to help women discover their dreams and bring them to reality so that they can live a life they love.

Cyrus, a real estate developer, is currently exploring new opportunities in the Austin area. He also holds workshops helping families reach their full capacity and thoroughly enjoy life on their terms.

The highly regarded Lake Travis ISD schools were another big plus for Maria and Cyrus, who have a son in the 8th grade and a daughter in the 6th grade. 

Out of all the great things they had heard about Austin, nothing prepared them for the warm Texas welcome they would find at Sweetwater. 

The first day they moved in, neighbors came over to introduce themselves and welcome the Gavriels to Sweetwater. The next day, the neighbors returned with homemade cookies. And the day before we talked to the Gavriels for this blog, other neighbors had brought over takeout food from what Maria calls an “amazing” local restaurant called Reunion 19. 

“We’ve lived in many other places, but we’ve never had this kind of neighborly connection,” Maria said. “It’s like a perfect ideal community that you would see in the movies, only that it’s very real here at Sweetwater.”

Meet more Sweetwater families and read their stories.