The Pavlus Family
The Pavlus Family Happily Trades in Downtown Living to Establish Roots in Terrell Hills
By Bruce X. Forey | Photography by David Teran
Buying someone a cup of coffee can go a long way, including starting a family and settling down in 78209. That’s how it started for Lt. Colonel Dr. John Pavlus and Ruby Sanchez, two San Antonio transplants who met at an area Starbucks while getting their java fix.
“I couldn’t resist offering to pay for her coffee,” John said. “We really hit it off, started dating, got married, had a baby,” Ruby added.
They began their life together in Southtown – a fun place for singles and young couples to live. However, as new parents to a baby girl, Lily Bee, John and Ruby reassessed what was important to raise their family.
“We wanted Lily Bee to grow up comfortable going out in the neighborhood, riding her bike, and meeting kids,” John said. “Terrell Hills really has that vibe that I appreciate for my daughter and our growing family.”
Still getting to know San Antonio, John and Ruby heard about the perks of living in Terrell Hills from a friend. It seemed like the ideal fit for their needs.
“He wouldn’t come to visit me very often down in Southtown,” said John. “He told us he didn’t need to leave the 78209 area. Everything he needed was close by, and that really appealed to us.”
They moved into their Terrell Hills home on John’s birthday in February 2022. Like many families who move to 78209, they love the central location and proximity to work and play. One of the favorite attractions in Terrell Hills is the park where they often take their daughter.
“Our neighbors are so friendly,” Ruby added. There’s a unique sense of community here. Also, we love the nostalgia. A lot of homes have their ribbons and colors supporting Alamo Heights schools.”
Their German Shorthaired Pointer, Dallas, liked the move to Terrell Homes, too. Dallas now has a backyard to run around in, sniff, and chase squirrels now and then.
Ruby is from the Rio Grande Valley and moved to San Antonio to pursue a career in real estate. She started working for Phyllis Browning Co. in June 2023. Ruby is also active in the short-term rental market with her company, Red Realm LLC.
“San Antonio is becoming more open-minded about short-term rentals,” Ruby said. “With all the tourist attractions in the city, it’s a booming business now.”
To unwind, Ruby enjoys playing poker and is a member of the Royal Card House of San Antonio. She’s also active in the San Antonio Pageant Organization. In 2023, she represented Terrell Hills in the Miss Texas pageant.
Their Terrell Hills home is also a convenient location for John, who’s the busy Chief of Interventional Radiology at Brooke Army Medical Center, located at Joint Base San Antonio – Ft. Sam Houston.
“It was pretty challenging coming here setting up my department, dating Ruby, and then leading my team and dealing with clinical challenges,” reflected John. “It was definitely a learning process to balance all of it.”
John is a South Florida native and has experienced life in different parts of the country. He graduated from the Air Force Academy and lived in the Washington D.C. area, studying at Georgetown University and then training at Walter Reed Medical Center. He was transferred to BAMC in 2018.
Terrell Hills’ proximity to Ft. Sam is convenient after a long day at the office. John is also a motorsports enthusiast, and his home is a short drive from his motorsports club, where his car is stored. “It’s like 15 minutes away. I get to be close to my hobby family and relax,” he said.
Terrell Hills makes it easy for the Pavlus family to visit local museums, enjoy great food, and explore some of the local coffee shops. There’s also a peaceful, easy feeling compared to Southtown.
“There were a lot of dogs barking and cats everywhere. It was a totally different experience,” John remembered. “Now, when we go to sleep, it’s just quiet,” Ruby added.