King’s X: A Garden Oasis
Story by Steve Nussbaum | Photos by Erika Carter
Pictured above: Walking into the main living space of Kings X feels like you are in a tree house with an incredible view of the lake.
Every issue of PK Magazine features an iconic home, and this time around itâ€™s a beautiful dwelling called Kingâ€™s X that sits along the cliff line on Park Road 36 on the south side of the peninsula.
Kingâ€™s X features Asian-inspired architecture, accompanied by lush, sloping cliffside gardens. For the past 17 years itâ€™s been the home of Richard A. Rogers, his wife, Krista, and the coupleâ€™s two children: Blake, 25, and 22-year-old Kate. The couple spends most weekends at their lake home from May through September.
This beautiful oasis on Possum Kingdom Lake has been the centerpiece of many family parties and events, and the Possum Kingdom area has been a part of Richardâ€™s life since he was born.
His family hailed from Wichita Falls but spent as much time at PK as possible. When his mom, Ann Rogers, told his dad that she was expecting, he replied, â€œI guess weâ€™ll have to get a bigger boat.â€ Richardâ€™s mom would water ski even while pregnant, and his dad would have to push her up back up into the boat.
As a boy, he learned to water ski at age 4, and back in those days he and his family would travel from Wichita Falls and stay in Graham. In 1960 his parents bought a small A-frame cabin in Hog Bend that had no electricity, and Richard said that cabin is still there today.
In 1970 his dad bought a unique cabin just down the street from Kingâ€™s X, with a beautiful deck that extends over the water, and Richard and his wife still own it.
To say PK has been a part of the familyâ€™s life would be an understatement. Richard grew up waterskiing on PK, and he and his wife get up most mornings at 6:30 a.m. while the lake is still calm.
Kingâ€™s X is filled with a gorgeous trees and meandering paths to the various parts of the garden.
Even at age 65, Richard Rogers is an avid slalom water skier, and what started when he was still in the womb has continued his entire life. As a young man, he attended Jim McCormickâ€™s Water Ski School in Florida for three years before going on to teach water skiing for another two summers at Camp Longhorn. He still goes out water skiing as much as he can, jokingly adding that â€œI get Blake to go out with me on Fatherâ€™s Day.â€ Like many other 20-somethings, Blake Rogers prefers to wakesurf, so the early morning sightings of a Ski Nautique boat pulling an expert water skier are probably of Richard and not his son.
Krista Rogers, meanwhile, is a transplant from Seattle, where the couple met, and she recalled her husband telling her about a place in the middle of Texas called Possum Kingdom Lake. Being from the beautiful state of Washington, she was skeptical, but said the first time she saw the lake she was blown away by the beauty of Possum Kingdom.
In 1995 the couple took a small aluminum boat to Hellâ€™s Gate and climbed Devilâ€™s Island, where Richard Rogers made his marriage proposal. The two relocated to Dallas soon after and have come to the lake most summer weekends ever since.
Kingâ€™s X was built in 1970 on the side of a steep cliff by Buford King, the houseâ€™s namesake. It later was sold to Wichita Falls businessman Ray Clymer and was his family retreat for many years.
The home was one that Richard Rogers watched being built in 1971, and heâ€™s always admired it. Before buying it, he had shown his wife the home and the beautiful, lush grounds that surround it many times.
One evening while dining in Dallas, Krista Rogers picked up a real estate book with a Possum Kingdom listing. It didnâ€™t show the outside of the home, but it did show a picture of the view and the iron railing that surrounds the house. From the view and the picture of the railing, she knew exactly which house it was: Kingâ€™s X. She then showed the listing to her husband, and he traveled to PK the next day to look at the property. He put an offer on the house, but with an option to back out while he did his due diligence.
After seeing the property and the incredible grounds, he said he almost turned down the opportunity because he thought â€œthere was no way I could keep up with all this and still be a good steward of the home.â€
It just so happened that the wife of the property manager next door, Carol Wallace, told Richard she would take care of the house if he bought it. That was 17 years ago, and Richard Rogers said itâ€™s been a great arrangement. To meet her, he said, is to understand the pride she takes in caring for the property.
Krista Rogers said her favorite part about arriving at Kingâ€™s X for a weekend is to see what Wallace, who is a master gardener, has done that week. Along with full-time groundskeeper Michael Walker, Wallace keeps the place looking spectacular, and both constantly work on upgrades and projects to make the home the showplace it is.
Kingâ€™s X sits on a steep lot, with tiered gardens from Park Road 36 down to the waterâ€™s edge. The home has a garage space at the top that leads down a tiered path to the main house. Inside feels like being in a treehouse, with an incredible view of Hellâ€™s Gate and Gaines Bend.
The distinct custom railing is what caught the eye of Krista in the real estate magazine. The picture of the railing is what led the couple to realizethe home was Kingâ€™s X, The home Richard had admired for years.
The star of the show is the landscaping, with the incredibly lush grounds surrounded by meticulously manicured trees, beautiful plantings and bursts of color from all the flowers. The property rivals that of a five-star resort, with each path leading off toward something new.
The grounds are surrounded by shaded, intricate steps, and the paths make their way down to a huge dock that houses three boats and several personal watercraft. Each step along the way provides a different grouping of landscaping and plush St. Augustine grass.
The huge dock has two levels, with the top being the site of many of the Rogersâ€™ lakeside parties.
The main house is a two-level home built with supports that go deep into the cliff line. Walking through the front door reveals an incredible view, with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a 270-degree view of the property and lake. The home is situated in a forest of mature oak and cedar trees, which provide the treehouse illusion.
The main floor sports a well-appointed kitchen, as well as the dining room and main living space, all of which is surrounded by a scenic terrace.
The 52-year-old home has been remodeled several times, with a style and architecture that are timeless. A spiral staircase leads to the lower level, where there is a large master suite and guest bedroom, both featuring huge floor-to-ceiling windows. This level has an exit onto another terrace that leads to a hot tub that seems like itâ€™s dangling on the edge of the cliff, with views of the lake and exquisite grounds.
A stone path leads to the guest house, where there is a â€œbunk roomâ€ for children. Itâ€™s where Krista Rogers would play host to â€œCamp Blake,â€ a weeklong camp for her son and his friends. This tradition, which started when Blake Rogers was in the fifth grade, lasted until he graduated from high school, and many of those who attended are still coming back to the house as adults.
The tradition of Kingâ€™s X has been a notable part of the Rogers family for years, and many family events have taken place there. This summer the family will celebrate Richardâ€™s 65th birthday party at the home, with a band and all the festivities taking place on the upper level of the huge dock. The family plans to have around 90 guests from across Texas to help celebrate his milestone birthday.
Kingâ€™s X is a special place, and the way the family takes care of this property makes it an iconic PK lake house. Itâ€™s an emerald oasis in the middle of West Texas.
The hot tub on the back deck seems like itâ€™s dangling on the edge of the cliff, with views of the lake and exquisite grounds.
A rock lined path and bridge leads guests to the guest house.
As you make your way down the majestic stone steps to the main house, you get a small peak of what you can expect to see while visiting Kingâ€™s X.
The lush grounds of Kingâ€™s X give you a feeling of being at a luxury resort.
Meet the owners of Kingâ€™s X:
The Boys from â€œCamp Blakeâ€ enjoying PK
When at PK, Richard and Krista Rogers get up most mornings at 6:30am to ski while the lake is still calm.
Richard A. Rogers and Everette enjoying a little wave surfing
Even at age 65, Richard A. Rogers is an avid slalom water skier, as pictured here, skiing along the cliff line at PK.
Richard and Krista Rogers enjoying a beautiful sunset at Kingâ€™s X.