For 53 years, the Hillcrest Swim Club has been — and continues to be — an oasis in the shimmering heat of the heart of summer.
The family-owned pool has built a loyal following, from its Harford Park neighbors to those who come from all over the Parkville area — and beyond.
Under a scorching and unrelenting sun recently, owner Lisa Perrera surveyed the scene as temperatures rose well into the 90s, yet the cool, blue water was relatively uncrowded.
Even the most recent upgrade, a large baby pool with fountains, was not filled with youngsters.
As the afternoon wore on, however, the crowd increased.
"We're very proud of the pool, of how clear and blue the water is," she said.
She, husband Chris Perrera and sister-in-laws Darlene Perrera and Susan Miller bought the club for $150,000 about 20 years ago and don't regret it for a minute.
"We keep it very affordable for families," Lisa Perrera said, noting the club issued 300 memberships this season. "There's no bond, nothing. We like to keep it that way."
Kids from Goucher College's Camp Bravo frolic in the pool weekday mornings before the gates are opened for members and guests at noon.
"We have a teen night, a movie night, a kid's day, a shrimp feast," she said about the busy summer schedule before the pool closes on Labor Day and the offseason begins.
"It's not just close the doors and go home for us," she said. "There's maintenance to be done. My husband handles most of that. And we check on the pool all the time."
That way, it will be ready for another scorching summer.