The podcaster's eccentric Texas home features a home office with a secret door

List of the day

Location: Spicewood, Texas

Price: $8.5 million

This uniquely shaped home on a 30-acre ranch in Spicewood was built in 1999 by Frank Lloyd Wright intern John Covert Watson. Watson is known for creating unusual and eye-catching roofs, such as Austin's “weird and wonderful” Sand Dollar House with its shell shape.

The roof of this house, while also reminiscent of a spiral, is more in the shape of a fan or a spread-out deck of cards emerging from a shell-like core with an oculus dome in the center.

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Inside, light-filled, voluminous spaces are warmed by locally quarried limestone and locally harvested cedar, balancing the abundance of glass, concrete and steel with some of the natural character of the Texas Hill Country.

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According to listing agent Greg Walling, owner John “Cal” Callahan is a retired financial trader and host of “The Great Unlearn” podcast. In fact, Callahan conducts the show from a special podcast room he set up in the house — one of the many amenities.

The property is remarkably private, set on a hill gently sloping to a stream, with plenty of native landscaping and green spaces.

“Much of the land is currently undeveloped and offers several potential uses. It could be an animal run, or you could add more casitas if you want to start a small resort rental business,” Walling said.

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The 30-acre property features a 12,000-square-foot main house with five bedrooms and five full bathrooms and a 1,000-square-foot casita with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.


This property has some delightfully unusual amenities, from an office with a secret door to a hidden grotto pool to a fully equipped podcasting room, which is privately located within the house via a small spiral staircase and could be converted into a further bedroom if required.

The second floor balcony area, open to the main level, offers multiple hideaways and nooks, including a reading area with comfortable seating, a fitness area, an office space, a barber chair and a meditation room just outside the master suite.

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“A buyer may want to glaze some of the rooms to create a more private office space, for example,” Walling said.

A two-bedroom casita, conveniently located from the main residence, serves as a guest house with a kitchen and living room, while a large covered carport provides ample parking space.

Neighborhood Notes

The property is located in the Texas Hill Country in the small town of Spicewood, known as the home of Willie Nelson, the famous restaurant Opie's Barbeque and the surrounding natural beauty, all within a 40-minute drive of Austin.

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The property sits on a bluff overlooking the Pedernales River, near several recreational areas, including Krause Springs – a forested park full of natural springs, waterfalls, swimming holes and hiking trails – and Hamilton Pool Preserve, a natural swimming pool in a canyon cavern by a 50-foot waterfall, as well as the Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area.

“We have seen a lot of activity in Spicewood and some new communities have been built in the area, such as the Travis Club and Loraloma,” Walling said. The Travis Club is a 1,500-acre community on Lake Travis, while Loraloma is an amenity-filled community within the master-planned Spicewood community of Thomas Ranch. Loraloma will feature hiking and biking trails, a swimming hole, a boutique hotel and a new golf course designed by David McLay-Kidd.

agent: Greg Walling, member of Moreland Properties in the Luxury Portfolio

View the original offer.

Anna Harden

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