Robert Ian Picker was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was raised in Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, where he excelled both in academics and athletics. Dr. Picker attended Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, as a pre-med student and a member of its varsity track team. He received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University, where he graduated medical school in 1969. The following year, he moved to Northern California, continuing his postgraduate medical training and completing psychiatric residency training in 1974 at Agnews State Hospital in San Jose, California.. He has been in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1974.


An active outdoorsman, since moving to Northern California in 1969, Dr. Picker has taken advantage of the many opportunities offered by the natural beauty of the area, taking many backpacking trips in the Sierra Nevada and other locales in the Western States. His love of natural beauty and travel led him on several trips to foreign locales, including a year in Europe, several months in New Zealand, and eventually to the Himalayas, including trips to Kashmir, Ladakh (“Little Tibet”) and Nepal. During Dr. Picker’s. trek to Mt. Everest, he was privileged to meet Sir Edmund Hillary and to spend an inspirational evening with him in a private hostelry owned by the family of Tzensing Norgay, the Sherpa who shared the first successful ascent of the summit of Mt. Everest with Sir Edmund in 1953. Dr. Picker had the honor of recommending his personal sherpa to Sir Edmund, who then utilized his services on a trek on which he was embarking the following day after Dr. Picker concluded needing his services on his own adventure…and what an adventure it was! After a 3-week trek through the Khumbu Himal of Nepal, Dr. Picker achieved his goal of reaching the 18,200-foot summit of Kala Pattar across from Mt. Everest. At the suggestion of his Sherpa, who recognized a rare photographic opportunity developing with a crystal clear October sky and the potential of a spectacular sunset, he stayed perched on the summit for approximately two freezing hours waiting for the magical moment. It was well worth the wait. Just as the last red alpenglow ignited the highest mountain in the world in a brilliant display of color, an almost full moon unexpectantly broke over the shoulder of the mountain, adding even more breathtaking drama to this already remarkable scene. It was a truly overwhelming moment, literally a , peak experience of a lifetime., and one that Dr. Picker was fortunate enough to memorialize photographically. This moment was subsequently transformed into a color poster, calendar cover and book cover (viewable on the PHOTOCREDIT page of this website.)

Dr. Picker continues to pursue his hobby of nature and travel photography, and after 30 years of creating a portfolio of spectacular photographs, is taking advantage of the new world of the internet to share these inspirational photos with a greater audience.

“In many moments during my travels and expeditions, I would be alone with my camera as my primary companion. However, I never felt really alone because I sensed that someday I would be sharing the magic of these moments with many people through my photography. I have been blessed with the opportunity to witness some of the most beautiful places on earth, and through the art of my photography to recognize hidden beauty that is always with us, if we open our eyes and allow ourselves to see it. I am hopeful that the visions conveyed in my art will help others to find that place of inspiration and beauty within themselves.”