Ornamental Ponds

David Mahler, co-founder of ESC, has designed and overseen construction of over 40 ornamental ponds since 1977. Our ponds are artistic interpretations of natural watercourses, although they are entirely fabricated, with recirculating pumps attached to the client’s water source. We use local rock and native plants, which keep reinforced concrete linings completely concealed. Indigenous fish are added to complete the ecological balance and to control mosquitoes.

Using rock appropriate to each site is an integral part of creating a native habitat. Most of our ponds are in limestone areas of Texas and are shaped with dense, cherty limestone which won’t shatter during a freeze. In Bastrop County we have used local sandstone, with petrified wood for waterfalls. In South Texas, we have used local volcanic rock for the falls and gravel edge for stream areas. Our water features do not require filtration, and niches for native plants are carefully built into spaces between the rock and concrete shell.

Highlighted Projects

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Pond Construction Sequence, Westlake Residence, Austin, TX


Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Center Botanical Garden, Kingsville, TX

Hamilton Pool Road Residence

LBJ Wildflower Center, Austin

The Crossings, Austin, TX

Rockcliff Residence, Austin, TX

Additional Examples