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      Our Story

      Susan and Kelli were living in Austin in the 2000s involved in their careers, yet dreaming of a retreat center that they would build ‘one day.’ It was during this time that Kelli’s dad died from a type of dementia called Lewy Body. Shortly afterwards, her feisty 94 year old grandmother “Noble” passed away and Susan’s father died after a lengthy battle with cancer. Those were tough years for them.

      The inheritance they received became the foundation of their dream retreat center. They found the perfect spot in the Texas hill country, walking distance from the famous Eye of the Dog Art Center, a large intentional community of artists and musicians. They loved that the very large main house, from above, kind of resembled a monastery. The acreage surrounding the house was a mixture of rolling hills, woods and scenic views: the perfect healing space they had been envisioning.

      They decided to go for it!

      “We went by the “build it and they will come” business plan and invested our gift money into creating Dharma Ranch for the San Marcos and surrounding area truthseekers. It took 2 plus years of hard work clearing the land, building and remodeling to complete Dharma Ranch. What makes this place and creation truly special is all the love and support that our friends, family and community so freely offered to get this vision off the ground.”

      Dharma Ranch officially opened their yurt doors for workshops, classes and events May 2016.

      “It’s been challenging with plenty of learning curves to navigate and we still have our day jobs to juggle along with running Dharma Ranch.”

      “Our vision is to get the community more involved through various volunteer opportunities and brainstorming sessions. We would like for Dharma Ranch to evolve into a non-profit one day.”

      If you’re interested in supporting us by offering your talents in some way, please CONTACT US.

      Aerial shot of Dharma Ranch in 1997

      Aerial view of Dharma Ranch
      Susan and Kelli

      A bit about who we are...

      Susan Fitz-Simon

      Susan Fitz-Simon

      Susan is a Emmy nominated foleywalker & sound editor for film and television. A handywoman extraordinaire and musician, she’s also a gifted animal whisperer and soon to be a certified therapy/service dog trainer. Susan loves to brighten people’s lives with a smile and being outdoors in the natural world.

      Kelli Cotner Triumph Tiger 800

      Kelli Cotner

      Kelli is a Certified Professional Coach and Leadership graduate through the Co-Active Training Institute and owner of True Nature Life Coaching. A dedicated Dharma student and meditation, she is a Brown University Level 1 Qualified MBSR Teacher and offers the 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course, a secular and evidence-based stress reduction program developed by Jon Kabat Zinn, PhD. In her spare time she loves to dance, design, exercise and dive into the deeper currents of this precious life.

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