Marcus Hiles refuses to compromise when it comes to protecting the native foliage in the designs of his communities. “Creating communities that work in harmony with nature and lessen humanity’s carbon footprint is a responsibility I embrace,” says the Texas real estate mogul. His environmental commitment is evident through extensive walking/jogging paths and private, on-site parks defining the exclusive locations, often nestled alongside expanses of countryside, undisturbed ponds and pristine streams. For example, at the Estates Woodland in Magnolia, century-old oaks and pines of the W.G. Jones State Forest border the property, providing convenient access to leafy trails and scenic lakes. The Mansions at Briggs Ranch in San Antonio boast rich, indigenous flora native to the Hill Country, including historic mountain laurels that remove excess carbon dioxide from the air. Trees are a strong component in Hiles’s ecological objectives: his company’s ongoing program to enlarge the canopy of shade trees continues to plant 2,500 trees annually. Over the last decade, 30,000 trees have been planted, improving the air quality of the Lone Star state by sequestering approximately 75 tons of carbon dioxide per year. The strategy allows for a viable synergy between endemic scenery preservation and the luxury living by which Hiles’ developments are known.