Life of the overlooked: Inside Moursund Boulevard
Turn south off of Interstate Loop 410 just about a mile west of the Texas A&M-San Antonio campus. At the four-way stop, take a right on Moursund Boulevard. You will see a long winding road with overgrown grass, dented guard rails and holes on the street.
People do not talk much about Moursund. It lacks new commercial growth, but boasts an eclectic mix of family owned businesses, restaurants and a city-owned natural area. It’s benefited from minor improvements in recent years, but remains overlooked.
A two-mile section of rural road, Moursund Boulevard connects the north and south sections of Pleasanton Road. The boulevard runs parallel to the San Antonio River and provides a slower moving road nestled between two major city interstate highways, I-35 and I-37.
Although the nearby area has grown since the development of Texas A&M-San Antonio University, the growth from Toyota and Valero has yet to have impact Moursund Boulevard.
Resident Salvador Segura has lived on Moursund Boulevard for over fifty years, his home is a place he has built throughout the years, for him it’s his holy ground.
Segura remembers a time before Mitchell Lake was designated a natural area, back when people raised their pigs on the property.
Though the City has cleaned up most of the waste, visitors are strongly encouraged not to touch the water where the city once dumped waste.
“The city has spent money to clean Mitchell Lake, it looks really nice now,” said Segura, who has owned his home on Moursund since 1966.
Nearby Mitchell Lake Audubon Center focuses on the conservation of animals including reptiles, amphibians, insects, mammals and over 120 plant species.
Bird-watcher Andy Garcia spends his time off from his job to volunteer and give bird tours every Sunday at Mitchell Lake.
“There’s usually a birding trip out here every weekend so that families can come and enjoy the scenery, some people think that it’s a recreation area. They think they can go boating, fishing, jet skiing, so they come out here and they realize that the ponds are part of the old sewer system,” said Garcia.
The audubon center hosts birthday parties, bird watching tours and holiday birding activities for children throughout the year.
On the side of the road, Carlos Lopez feels the rush of the wind brush against his face when he rides his horse with friends.
Lopez lives around the Roosevelt area, a mile-and-a-half away from Moursund. He tries to horseback ride once a week to relieve stress and keep busy.
“We try to horseback ride once or twice every other week down the road,” Lopez said.
Local stores like the Mini Ranch Feeding Store provides feeding supplies for domestic animals and livestock.
Within the first mile on Moursund, a huge orange horse towers the side of the feed store. Inside are miniature horses, cows and sheep figurines, multicolored birds for sale along with Betta fishes.
Although Henry Schorch resides in Potranco, he manages the feed store his family has owned for eight years.
“We did see the difference of the growth when Toyota opened, a lot more businesses started opening around the South Side,” said Schorsch.
The feed store maintains its business because of the high demand of farming supplies needed by ranch owners around the outskirts of I-410.
“San Antonio is a city that still maintains its roots. The South Side is very nice, but like everything else it needs the government to invest and improve its city,” Schorsch said.
Newly opened restaurant Richie’s Burgers is owned by Richie Valadez, a family man who is determined to change the misconception of the South Side.
“When A&M first came in, there was some investors that came in wanting to buy land but when they saw that the growth wasn’t as rapid as they anticipated, they backed off,” Valadez said.” This area hasn’t grown as much as the North Side but it has grown, now you see more traffic.”
Long ago, flies overpopulated the street, with water barricading yards and insects arrogating the area, Segura recalls. Segura remembers suing the city of San Antonio in the 80’s because of the lack of city street lights and no sewage lines.
Segura and his brothers along with neighbors, settled their dispute with the City of San Antonio. Both parties agreed to the building of sewer lines and street lights installation on Moursund Blvd.
Although the South Side has seen minor improvements, Moursund Blvd. has yet to see most of it.
The community on Moursund remains hopeful. They hope the city doesn’t continue to neglect them. They hope one day they can drive down Moursund Blvd. without driving past unrepaired guard rails or a bumpy road.