In 1976, Mario arrived in the scenic Crystal River Valley with his adopted family, Dave and Martha Beamis  and four kids. They operated  Beaver Lake Lodge  and the Crystal River Jeep Tours for several years. Mario drove tours, cooked meals and cleaned rooms. Then he met his future wife, Christy, at a street dance in Marble.

Mario and Christy Villalobos have been together in Marble for 30 years. During that time, they have raised four wonderful daughters, Monique, Rachel, Amanda, and Mariah.  Using old blocks of marble left from the Lincoln Memorial project and many other national buildings, Mario learned to core, cut and sand the white stone. He created and sold many wine racks, wine bottle holders and desk clocks. He began sculpting in 1984 and is a self taught artist.

A few years later, they got the news about the Colorado Yule Marble Quarry being re-opened in 1990. Mario was hired to build the wooden, escape staircase from the floor to the portal opening 300 feet above. While hanging on ropes, Mario placed anchor bolts into the mountain. It was an exciting time!  He learned to mine marble from Ferdinando Borghetti, the Italian Quarry master. For a span of 12 years, Mario operated the wire saws, chain saw, crane, and the huge loader.

From 1988 until 2006, Mario and Christy ran the jeep tour business. They gave tours of the Crystal Mill, Lead King Basin, and the Marble Quarry.  After numerous seasons of selling Mario's marble products from a roadside stand and gazebo, they finally built a The Marble Gallery in 2005. Rachel designed the building with beautiful arched windows and plenty of  wall space to display a variety of local art.

Mario has always been a great storyteller and in 2010 he wrote a children's book about Amanda and a pet marmot named Benny. The book is titled " The Whistler " and is available at The Marble Gallery.