We are Luke & Rachel Whyte and David & Rachel Ridley – co-owners of Waco Tours.
We’ve been good friends for several years and our homes were renovated on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” TV show – based in our hometown of Waco, Texas. As Waco was growing and tourism increasing in the city, we realized there was something missing.
One day over lunch, after noticing the amount of people who were driving by our newly renovated homes, we asked the question – “Who is welcoming all of these visitors to Waco?” After doing some research, we discovered that there wasn’t an avenue for people to see all the hidden gems of Waco, so we decided to start a tour company! Over the past six years, we’ve given tours to over 90,000 of Waco’s visitors (and residents)! We love our little company and we know you will too. If you’re planning a visit to Waco, let us show you around!
From left to right: Rachel, Luke, Rachel, and David
Luke & Rachel Whyte
Luke and Rachel Whyte have been residents of Waco since 2007 when they came to attend Baylor University. They were married in 2012 and have five kiddos, Haven, James, Jacob, Hazel and Hatty.
Originally from Denver, CO, Luke worked in the corporate world in Denver after he graduated from college, but quickly made his way back to Waco where he began to work in real estate. After working in ministry for 7 years, Luke is now a full-time entrepreneur.
Rachel was born and raised in Nacogdoches, TX. She is a stay-at-home working mom. She started her wedding photography business right out of college and photographed over 95 weddings in 5 years. She currently wears many hats, helping run their various businesses and vacation rentals, as well as raising their young kids.
The Whytes also own a wedding venue in town, Old Bethany Weddings & Events, as well as a construction business, Whyte Oak Homes. They love to host people, love to travel, and clearly they love to start businesses!
David & Rachel Ridley
David and Rachel Ridley met through a mutual friend in 2016 and married in 2017.
David was born in Plano, TX and went to high school in Paris, TX. He moved to New York City in 2000 where he worked as a model and real estate agent. Eventually, David was drawn back to Texas in 2005 to be closer to his family. After working in home healthcare for many years, he started working for Waco Tours full time at the beginning of 2017.
Rachel was born in Texas City, TX. Her family moved several times because her dad was in the U.S. Army, but she called Birmingham, AL home after receiving her master’s degree there. Before Rachel met David, she was a teacher in Birmingham for seven years. David and Rachel have two little girls, Ayla Rose and Georgia.
The Ridleys can often be found fishing, exercising, and laughing together. They enjoy spending time with their family and friends and having people over to their home.
Meet Our Staff
Ben Venable grew up in the Texas Panhandle, then traveled to forty-two states and six countries while working for a non-profit organization after high school. An avid reader, musician, and lover of terrible puns, Ben has done the second-most tours in Waco Tours history and is honored to serve alongside the most hospitable staff this side of the Brazos River as General Manager at Waco Tours. Anytime he's not driving our vans, entertaining our guests, or otherwise generally managing things, you'll find Ben hanging out with his lovely wife, Heather, and beautiful baby boy.