Happy in their home! James Van Der Beek and Kimberly Van Der Beek gushed about life in Texas during an Austin Life photo shoot with their five kids and three dogs.
“We wanted to get the kids out of Los Angeles,” the Dawson’s Creek alum, 44, told the magazine for its August cover shoot. “We wanted to give them space and we wanted them to live in nature. When we were flying here for our anniversary, I felt an energy to Austin.”
Before the couple made their big move to their 36-acre property with Olivia, 10, Joshua, 9, Annabel, 7, Emilia, 5, and Gwendolyn, 3, they “asked Texas for permission” to live there.
Kimberly, 39, described their “hippie” meditation under a tree, explaining, “The information I was given was that Texas has the capacity to heal. It’s expansive and nature will hug you and heal you. We just had been through a crazy year with two late-term miscarriages and my body was still healing and it was hard for me to walk around at that point. I was still just a couple of months out of the hospital from my second one, so I was exhausted. James’ mom had just passed, so to get that message from the trees of Texas was the nurturing hug we needed to feel welcomed here. It felt like L.A. had kind of birthed us out and there was a real calling to move.”
She and the actor documented their move via Instagram in October 2020. In the past nine months, the pair have felt “looked out for” in their new Hill County home.
“In L.A. if you get sick, you get a Postmates delivery. If you want to move, you get a moving truck recommendation,” the Washington native explained. “In Texas, somebody makes you something and brings it to your doorstep or you have five friends pulling up with their trucks to help you move. It’s just a different way of life here. It’s not to say one is better than the other, but it’s that hands-on village lifestyle that I’ve been craving for so long.”
The duo’s little ones are enjoying exploring the “magical place,” James added.
His wife went on to describe the way they’ve developed “more boundaries” with each child, saying, “You realize boundaries are OK, and if you keep them for yourself, kids learn to have them for themselves. [We’re] less precious. I think we really underestimate a child’s ability to maneuver in the world, to climb a tree, to explore, to go through a discovery process of who they are.”
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
Keep scrolling to see Olivia, Joshua, Annabel, Emilia and Gwendolyn posing on the property with their parents.