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The Journey Continues: Erin Able

Sunday, May 17, 2020

My journey this week takes me to Erin Abel, a “RISM” — Raised In San Marcos. She is  a local visionary and  entrepreneur.  

Abel graduated from the Shriner Institute in Kerrville with a degree in psychology, which  has served her well in introducing two signature societal entries into the local community.

After the death of her brother in 2016, destiny gave Abel the first opportunity to purchase what was known as the “Freedom House.” Abel renamed the home for her brother, “The Horton House,” with the mission to  serve as a sober-living half-way home with a family environment which provides structure, accountability and support for residents to begin or continue a life free from drugs and alcohol. 

Located  on Smith Lane, the Horton House is managed by Ernest and Shanna Lott. With having both the experience and dedication to sobriety, the Lotts ensure a safe comfortable environment for the residents. Sundays are dedicated to an AA meeting in the morning and a Bible Study at night. The Horton House can be contacted at 512-667-9298 or

In September 2018, Able married Kyle Pettey. The wedding was held at the family homeplace on Hunter Road. This led Abel on her next venture, opening a wedding venue, the Texas Rock House. 

Abel’s grandfather had built the house in the 1940s, covering the exterior with stones from 37 States — the showpiece being a limestone rock carved into the shape of Texas on the fireplace. When her grandfather stopped farming, Abel’s father converted the barn into his welding shop, where he created many metal masterpieces. 

“When my Dad retired, the barn sat empty for years until I decided that was where I wanted to hold my wedding,” Abel said. 

It just felt right, according to Abel, to make the Texas Rock House a wedding venue. Every detail reflects her love for the home and its landscape and its rustic elegance and country charm is a tribute to her family’s heritage. Across the fence in the pasture live two cattle, one Longhorn named “Buddy” and a Brahma named “Larry” — respectively  named after her father and brother — and many songbirds. The wedding coordinator and on-site director is Michelle Hildebrand. She can be contacted at

Due to the coronavirus, rescheduling the April-May weddings has been a big task.

“I don’t know how I could have handled all the details without Ernest, Shanna and Michelle,” Abel said. “I believe everything happens for a reason.”

Abel’s life verse is: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

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